Release Date: January 12, 2022
The Leadership Board of Manchester UMC has recently approved an operating budget for 2022. This plan will support Manchester UMC in continuing to advance the important mission of transforming church and community. It is made possible through the committed financial discipleship of those who generously contribute to the General Fund of this church.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has proven challenging for most churches, as worship attendance and financial discipleship have declined significantly. This has exacerbated the trend of the past decade, which saw steadily declining participation combined with higher personnel costs, and overall giving remaining relatively flat.
With this in mind, the leadership of Manchester UMC has decided that it is financially faithful for the church to reduce its personnel expenses for 2022 to be good stewards of the funds we are entrusted to manage. Personnel expenses represent the largest share of a church operating budget.
Below is a summary of cost savings that will help to support the financial health of Manchester UMC in 2022:
- Do not replace the vacant Children and Families Administrative Assistant position in 2022. These duties will be spread across existing staff and volunteers as needed.
- Do not replace the vacant Bell Choir Director position in 2022. These duties will be spread across existing staff and volunteers as needed.
- Discontinue funding for the part-time paid Director of Young Adults position after Feb. 5, 2022. Integrate young adult efforts into existing ministries of the church to ensure Manchester UMC continues to connect and engage with young adults. Church leadership will be working with Nick Reinhardt to ensure a smooth transition as we honor and celebrate their ministry in this area.
- Discontinue funding for a part-time paid Nursery Coordinator/Safe Gatherings Administrator after Feb. 5, 2022. These duties will be spread across existing staff and volunteers. Church leadership will be working with Sally Cleveland to ensure a smooth transition as we honor and celebrate her ministry at Manchester UMC.
- Pause taking the next step in Manchester UMC’s compensation equality plan, which seeks to move all clergy and staff to the 75th percentile for similar positions at similar-sized churches. In lieu of this, clergy and staff who are continuing in their existing roles in 2022 will receive a 3% (cost of living) pay increase.
In addition to the above personnel decisions, the 2022 operating budget will be supported by several one-time sources of funds including pandemic-related grants and credits. Manchester UMC will also be intentional in 2022 to offset planned expenses by using special gifts and memorials for the ministries they are designated to support.
The leadership of Manchester UMC do not make any of these decisions lightly. Much prayer, conversation and discernment has occurred during this process and this update is intended to offer transparency around these decisions.
Setup Recurring Monthly Contributions
While we are fortunate to have several one-time sources of funds this year, our shared mission and ministry is most sustainable long-term by growing our recurring contributions to the General Fund.
We can support the long-term financial health of Manchester UMC by setting up a recurring monthly contribution to the General Fund this month as part of our collective financial discipleship. If already making a monthly gift to the General Fund, we have the opportunity to grow our contribution by at least 1% of our income starting this month.
As we know, tithing (10% of weekly take-home pay), or a commitment to give a specific percentage of income with the intent to grow toward the 10% tithe over time, is the biblical model for long-term sustainable ministry.
One of the things that the pandemic has taught us is that we can learn to do ministry in new and fresh ways using the resources available to us in that season. Let us continue to learn, grow and support one another as we prepare for the journey ahead.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us or any member of the Leadership Board.
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