What a year. We’ve probably all said this in multiple ways, and we will probably say some version of that for years to come. For me and my family 2020 is a year of major transition as my son heads off to college and my daughter is now driving with a permit. I imagine that all of us have had and will continue to experience lots disruptions.
Our church has experienced disruptions. Our spiritual lives have not been bolstered by in person gatherings. We have had to learn new ways of being together and while that has been wonderful for part of our community… to be honest… not all of us find that to be accessible or life giving. However, we are continuing to work out plans to gather in smaller groups and to find our way back to indoor worship at some point this fall.
While our normal practices have been disrupted, the leadership of Resurrection has been solid. Rock solid. Our Mission Leadership Team along with our Finance Team, Property Image Team, Land and Building Team, Stewardship Team and our staff and ministry teams have worked incredibly hard to make the necessary adjustments and corrections when needed. I will outline several of those in this letter.
The first is our current financial health. Please review the included note from our Treasurer Brian Tri. He outlines our current financial position and some steps we felt we needed to take to respond to the pandemic. We know each summer historically we do have a dip in giving but the dip in giving started earlier in April and may continue later in the fall, longer than usual. These are uncertain times for sure and we are still moving into our mission and vision which means we are continuing to seek solid financial footing. I encourage all of us to consider our giving.
The second is some exciting news about our land and building. For years Resurrection has been deferring maintenance on its property due to financial constraints. We have had to put off maintaining our parking surface, our rooftop heating and cooling units and our roof. Our building is simply getting to the point of its life cycle where things are failing, cracking, and leaking but now we are in a financial position to fix those areas and here are the reasons why.
First is that your giving over the past three years has been steady and responsive to the God’s mission, leadership and needs of Resurrection Lutheran Church. Your generosity combined with brilliant financial planning from our MLT, Finance Team and the Treasurer, we were able to pay off the assessment for the roundabout and then include that same amount we were saving each month towards maintenance projects in our 2020 budget. That savings will pay for the parking lot maintenance and the rooftop unit replacement without adding any additional increase to the 2020 budget. Thank you for your continued generosity!
Now we come to the leaky roof. That is a bit more of a heavy financial lift, but Resurrection has been blessed by our relationship with Inez Oehlke and her family. The Oehlke trust has gifted Resurrection just under $750,000. Yes… not a typo and utterly amazing. However, those funds are protected and restricted per an agreement with her and Resurrection before she passed. A letter of understanding drawn up by Resurrection’s leadership on June 14, 2016 outlines the agreement.
“As per your wishes, your gift will be spent on capital improvements to the property. Specifically, we will use these funds for demolition of those buildings that do not fit into the ministry plan of Resurrection, as well as upgrading and adding to existing buildings on our property. This gift will not be placed in the general fund for regular operational expenses.”
In that spirit, and with that guidance, the Mission Leadership Team has cautiously but unanimously decided to use some of that gift to upgrade the leaky roof with a new roof. This is a gift that is being carefully curated. With these projects, timing is also an issue as we save on costs if the new roof and the new rooftop units are replaced at the same time. Also, as the building is at low usage, we can complete all these tasks before any possible fall ministries take place.
I have included the financial breakdown for these projects along with a report from Brian Tri our treasurer. Resurrection leadership does its best to be transparent and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out. Yes, things are a quite different right now, but God still meets us with hope and blessing!
Pastor Paul Dean
Resurrection Lutheran Church
2nd Quarter Financial Update
Resurrection entered 2020 on solid financial footing. We operated a near-balanced budget in 2019, have not had to draw on our line of credit since 2018, and we have received designated and estate gifts that will serve future needs of Resurrection well. These are wonderful financial blessings but cannot be relied upon for day-to-day operating needs.
Enter COVID-19. For our safety and those we interact with, we stopped in-person services and turned to online services in March. The Finance Team and Mission Leadership Team met shortly thereafter to plan for challenges that may be ahead. While we closed March with normal giving, April giving was noticeably down.
With April’s results in hand, we opted to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan through the Small Business Administration. We were approved and received $60,000 to assist with payroll, mortgage interest, and utilities. The loan is fully forgiven if we use it for those purposes over a 24-week period. We have already met those obligations in full and will apply for full forgiveness, essentially turning the loan into a grant.
May and June giving has remained at April’s level, creating operating shortfalls each month. Thankfully, the PPP loan has provided a financial backstop and our operating balances are good as we continue through the main summer months. As with most churches, Resurrection expenses run higher than giving over the summer by about $10,000 per month. But that could be amplified this year by COVID-19 if lower giving levels continue. We need giving to return to normal levels soon to maintain a balanced budget.
The combined leadership of Resurrection will continue to closely evaluate necessary expenses, while monitoring giving levels so that we can best support our ministry now and into the future.
Brian Tri, RLC Treasurer
Maintenance Plan and Costs
1) Flat Roof Replacement – $143,000
- To be paid out of the Oehlke gift
- Identified in the bid as middle option
- Upgrade from the current roof design, with a longer expected life span. 20+ years
2) RTU Replacement – $133,773 total
- Financing by St. Paul Port Authority PACE program and repay loan paid out of accrued funds moving forward in general budget for the life of the loan.
3) Seal-coating and Striping the Parking Lot – $15,560
- To be paid out of accrued funds for maintenance ($2100/mo since Nov. 2019)