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Letter from Finance Committee

June 2014
 

Hello, my name is Mike Davila and I am the newly appointed Finance Committee Chair. And as I wrote in the bulletin last week, we, as a committee, plan to increase the communications to the parish throughout the year. So today, I’ve been asked by Father to speak to you today about Stewardship and the current financial health of the Parish.

Overall, our parishioners are very generous. Last year, we had the third highest donation total to Lifelinks in the diocese. But the last few years we have struggled to make ends meet. Holy Rosary has incurred some significant expenses, specifically maintenance of the church and our parish tithing to the diocese; and given the age of the church, more maintenance is today and will be in the future. Some examples are: 

  • $60k for new sound system - complete
  • $20k for building repairs (e.g. painting, choir loft, cleaning of gutters and proper drainage) – ongoing
  • $15k per year in tithe to the archdiocese 

All of these expenses, plus the normal day-to-day, put Holy Rosary in a deficit the previous 2 fiscal years for a total of about $75k. Thankfully, we’ve been blessed to have sufficient funds in our rainy day account to keep afloat; but we all know that’s not sustainable. 

Father Joseph has recently re-established the finance committee to help advise him on how to get Holy Rosary back to a sound and responsible financial state. The long-term goal of the committee is to advise, monitor and manage major expenses through an established, responsible annual budget. In order to progress towards this goal we have taken some immediate actions.

  • Implementing a new financial accounting system to accurately manage income/expenses. This will allow us to have a better understanding of our expense and be in a position to advise on future needs
  • Looking for ways to stabilize and possibly increase parish income

One of the ways we are efforting to increase our income is through increasing the use of the parish hall for non-parish related activities. The new yoga class on Monday mornings and Wednesday evenings is the first example of this. Please reach out to us if you know of any other opportunities to utilize the hall.  

Our primary means of income is of course the Planned giving envelopes. And in effort to help stabilize this income we are encouraging, NOT mandating, the use of the direct debit programme as the primary means of weekly tithing. In the bulletins this week you will find the Direct Debit form to fill out and return to the parish office. For those that are unfamiliar with Direct Debit programs, it is setup to automatically withdraw funds from your account and deliver to the parish account. The flexibility of this program allows for the withdrawal to be at the frequency of your choosing (i.e. weekly or monthly) and at your desired amount. The benefit of direct debit is not only for the parish to stabilize our weekly tithing, but it also makes it much, much easier for you, as a parishioner, to tithe regularly. This is a programme my family has utilized for several years in the US before coming to Perth. For us, it helped us establish our own family budget and eliminated the last second rush to find an envelope, the checkbook, or cash. For those interested in contributing through Direct Debit but enjoy placing something in the collection every Sunday, the parish is offerring tithing cards. This will be a small card with your name on it that you can drop in the collection each week. We feel this is important, especially for those with children like myself, to visually demonstrate the weekly tithe and stewardship.  

Again, the Direct Debit programme is not required by the parish but strongly encouraged. It is not replacing the Planned Giving envelopes this year, but will become the preferred method of giving throughout the diocese over the next several years. The Envelopes for the next fiscal year can be found at the back of the church this weekend. And of course you can continue to contribute, as you are able, through cash donations.

As a reminder, the first collection is for the parish priest. And unfortunately, will not be part of the direct debit program at this point; but maybe offered at a later time.

Many people wonder what the proper amount is to tithe. Numbers such as 8-10% have been suggested over the years as a basic guide. But the right amount is truly a personal decision. The bible tells us you must take care of the basic needs of you and your family first; and then can decide on the right amount. It also teaches us to be generous with the treasures that God has given us. 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 says: 

6 But remember: anyone who sows sparsely will  reap sparsely as well -- and anyone who sows generouslywill reap generously as well.  7 Each one should give as much as he has decided on his own initiative, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God  loves a cheerful giver. 8 God is perfectly able to enrich you with every grace, so that you always have enough for every conceivable need, and your resources overflow in all kinds of good  work. 

Thank you for your time and generosity.  If you have any questions, please get in touch with me through the parish office.  God Bless you all.

 


46 Thomas Street
Nedlands, 
WA 6009
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p : +(618) 9386 1870
f  : +(618) 9389 9237


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