CHT is blessed with a prominent, historically significant building and a substantial endowment. Despite these advantages, there are fiscal realities that have hampered the financial health of the parish in recent times. The never-ending need to meet rising expenses continually eats into the church’s ability to fund its ministries. A significant number of programs and outreach activities are funded every year – and they are quite successful; however, it is clearly the desire of the congregation to do more for our church and our community. The vestry has carefully managed expenses and is committed to reducing the draw on the endowment to sustainable levels.
One of the most significant “fiscal realities” facing the church is the maintenance and preservation of our beautiful building. The church is over 150 years old and requires planning and care to ensure it continues to be a beautiful, comfortable, welcoming, and, above all, safe place to worship. Maintenance to the exterior of the church and renovations to the parish house will require significant fundraising in the near future.
A stewardship committee is formed each year with a campaign held each fall. Recent campaigns have included luncheons; devotionals written by clergy, staff, and community members; series of sermons; and testimonials. Although giving has increased from historic lows in the late 1990s, average pledges are still below national and diocesan norms, and we rely too heavily on the proceeds from our endowment for operating expenses. In our recent discernment workshop, stewardship was recognized as an area of weakness in our life together.
CHT Financial Vision of the Future:
● Increase number of pledging units and average pledge
● Establish a clear, transparent process for budget decisions that plans effectively for both shorter term resource needs and longer term financial health
● Inform and involve members of the congregation in planning our resources
● Effectively manage the endowment by adjusting our endowment investment strategy/portfolio to maximize income
● Plan for property maintenance to manage costs and operate in a sustainable manner including: 1) plan for ongoing/regular maintenance, and 2) assess and apply tools for environmentally sustainable practices and energy