An important part of our church budget goes to support the work of the wider church through your benevolence offerings. Recently one of our Zion members asked for more details. Here is a synopsis:
Like any organization of its size, the Eastern Synod uses a budget to manage its financial affairs. Synodical budgets are approved by the biennial Assembly of the Eastern Synod, to which each congregation may send at least two voting delegates. Full financial information is distributed to delegates before the Assembly, and it remains on the Synod’s website for anyone to view.
Most of us aren’t too interested in the details of budgets or audited statements. We want to know the story behind the budget, the priorities on which we plan to spend a total of $2,185,000. Here is our story for 2013.
Capable Leaders – $1,010,000 (46%)Almost half of the annual budget is devoted to developing a corps of leaders who will provide vision and energy to meet the challenges of ministry in the 21 st century. Specifically, we will:
Support Waterloo Lutheran Seminary’s theological formation of lay and ordained leaders; Sustain outdoor ministry and leadership development for children, youth and adults at Camp Mush-a-Mush in Nova Scotia, Lutherlyn Camp and Conference Centre in eastern Ontario; and Edgewood Camp and Conference Centre in southern Ontario; Create opportunities for youth and young adults to grow in faith and action, at national and synodical youth events; Nurture and guide candidates through the process leading to ordained and diaconal ministry; Underwrite health benefits for retired pastors; Facilitate networks of chaplains in prisons, hospitals and the military; Foster continuing education for lay and clergy leaders through Luther Hostel.
Effective Mission Partnerships – $600,000 (27%) As a synod we know we can’t do everything by ourselves; we need partnerships with other organizations to maximize our effectiveness. Our major partner is our national church, the ELCIC, which coordinates global mission, ecumenical efforts and ministry rosters. The ELCIC’s partners thereby become our own, including:
Canadian Lutheran World Relief; Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Anglican Church in Canada; Kairos: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives; and other ecumenical partners.
In addition, we maintain a companion synod agreement with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Guyana for mutual learning and assistance.
Vibrant Local Ministries – $520,000 (24%) Most local ministry is carried out by congregations, organized into ministry areas. Synodical personnel will devote the largest proportion of their time to supporting congregational ministry. In 2013 they will:
Nurture newly-planted mission congregations; Help congregations find pastors well matched to the needs of their specific situation;Encourage local community outreach; Lead discussions with congregations interested in collaborating in new forms of ministry; Mediate when congregations are in conflict or crisis; Provide workshops and materials for congregational ministry. Local ministry includes creative ways to link congregations with students on post-secondary campuses in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, Waterloo, and London.
Focused Framework – $55,000 (3%) The Synod’s infrastructure supports all of the programming priorities listed above. In addition, it serves to:
Communicate with members and the general public via the Synod website and Easter Synod Lutheran newspaper; Govern the synod through Synod Council, standing committees and task forces; Ensure efficient administration of the Synod office.
If you’re interested in seeing financial results from previous years,budgets for 2013 and 2014, audited financial statements and reports of congregational remittances, visit www.easternsynod.org and click on the Assembly 2012 button. Financial information is in section 8.