Fourth Quarter Comeback
Thoughts on Year-End Giving at Elmhurst CRC
It's officially the Fourth Quarter of 2020, and like a football team that finds some positive momentum after three challenging quarters, we as a church are making a comeback in many ways: our day-to-day ministries are up and running, Sunday morning worship continues and will return indoors to our Sanctuary on October 18, and the Spirit of generosity is still moving. I’m confident that God wants to heal this broken world and that he is asking for our energy, our prayers, and our financial resources to play a role in his healing plan.
In terms of ECRC's financial resources as we enter the Fourth Quarter, we need to collect $1.15 million to meet our forecasted expenses. That figure is actually less than the $1.3 million we needed to collect in Q4 2019 even after a successful mid-year financial campaign. This sounds like good news, and it is! But how did this happen?
About 90% of our $3.35 million annual budget is in firm or fixed costs -- mortgage, insurance, utilities, personnel etc -- but we are anticipating being 9-10% underspent for 2020. We also applied for and received $200,000 in Payroll Protection Program (PPP) funds from the federal government and anticipate that this loan will be forgiven.
Last year, we exceeded our fourth quarter goal. Can we raise nearly as much in Q4 2020 as we did in Q4 2019 despite the challenges of this unprecedented year? I believe God has already provided our community all that we need to keep pressing forward.
I’m asking for each of us to be discerning in how we support God's mission through the ministries of Elmhurst CRC. Some of us have experienced major monetary losses in 2020, many of us have remained remarkably financially stable in this uncertain year, and a few of us have had booming, banner years in terms of business and revenue. I’m asking you to prayerfully weigh your situation in 2020 and give to the church responsibly and generously.
God's mission works this way: The Spirit invites us to participate both in DOING the work of the Kingdom and to be involved in FUNDING the work of the Kingdom. Elmhurst CRC has a long track record of faithful giving, and I‘m hopeful that despite the pain and complexity of 2020, we can further God’s plan to reach and heal this broken world.
May God guide us along his good path,