November 5, 2013
by Clyde G. Kratz
Executive Conference Minister

Conference embraces sustainable financial mission

Virginia Mennonite Conference engages in the mission of providing vision and leadership to a network of missional communities that are located in Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Kentucky.

Our ministry is encouragement, evangelism, faith building, peace-building, and witness. Our call is to live in unity as disciples of Jesus as we give witness to God’s purposes for our communities and the world.

Scott BeachyOne aspect of our mission is a financial mission that provides resources to under-gird our various endeavors. This past year the delegates of VMC approved Scott Beachy to a three-year renewable term to the office of treasurer. Scott is a CPA and a partner in the firm of Martin, Beachy, Arehart, Harrisonburg, Va. We are grateful for his availability, expertise, and insight for helping us with the financial integrity of VMC.

One of the ways that VMC is seeking to keep its constituencies up-to-date with financial information is to provide a narrative financial mission. For many people, a budget tracks the various expenses in a detailed report. At times, this type of reporting is a vast amount of numbers in specific categories without a specific relationship to the vision and purpose of an organization.

VMC has worked on creating a narrative financial mission in which all the expenses ($250,681) for 2012-2013 and their overall percentage of revenue are identified in four categories:

Supporting Ministry Leaders (38%)
Equipping Congregations for Ministry (29%)
Building Connections (23%)
Conference Overhead (10%)

Staff expenses are represented in each category based on the perception of time staff gave to each category.

One of the challenges I face as the Executive Conference Minister is generating revenue on behalf of VMC. Larry Miller, president of Everence, recently reported that there are two things that are hurting the financial health of our organizations: a three percent decline in congregational giving, and the growing number of new non-profit organizations competing for donor dollars.

As you can see, it will become increasingly more difficult to fund the things we are doing, if we do not pay attention to the financial aspect of VMC.

In fiscal year 2012-2013, VMC received 55% of its revenue from congregations. We are grateful for the generous sharing of financial resources that congregations send to VMC. Gifts from committed and generous individuals within VMC account for 19% of our annual revenue. These donors have seen the value in providing charitable contributions to the work of VMC in an annual gift, a special gift for a project, and some individuals have made sure that VMC is part of their planned estate giving. Fourteen percent (14%) of revenue comes from investments. The funds associated with the former Virginia Property Aid are providing financial resources for the ongoing work of VMC. The remaining 9% of revenue comes from fees for services, related ministries donations, and miscellaneous resources.

As you plan your congregation’s 2013-2014 financial mission, please incorporate an amount equivalent to the VMC congregational asking within the range of $25-$35 per member in your congregation. I also want to encourage you to consider ways that your congregation can continue to be generous for the work of building missional communities with the regions of VMC. Thank you for your generosity.

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