Our parish finance council recently convened for one of our regularly scheduled meetings and the following is a summary of what we discussed.
As has already been mentioned in previous bulletin articles, our parish has exceeded our goal for the 2020 Annual Catholic Appeal for the Diocese of Toledo. Of the 123 parishes in our diocese, our parish is one of about 30 that met their goal so far this year. The fact that we were able to accomplish this during COVID is impressive! The diocesan policy for the ACA is that contributions exceeding a parish’s goal will be given to the parish, which means that $7300 will come back to Divine Mercy.
Many thanks to those who have contributed to the Building and Maintenance Fund over the last few months. At the time of my last update, we spent some of those funds to repair the shingles on the Payne church; but since then, we have received generous donations which have recuperated that expense. Year-to-date, collections for this fund are $3800 above what we budgeted so far, which I am always pleased to see! Please continue to support this fund and help us to stay above budget so that we can ensure that we take good care of our campuses!
Collections for our Mission Fund are currently $1500 under our budgeted amount. From this fund, we normally give an annual $2500 donation to Northwestern Ohio Community Action Commission (NOCAC), which serves the poor in many great ways in our county and several other Ohio counties around us. Due to limited funds this year, we decided that we would still make a $1500 donation to NOCAC from our Mission Fund. In addition, because many people are especially in need during COVID, Divine Mercy will be making a donation to local food pantries in Antwerp, Paulding, and Payne.
As you have noticed in our weekly bulletin updates, our year-to-date Sunday collections have continued to slip further under our budgeted amount. Obviously, COVID is a major factor in this. Many people’s personal resources are diminished during these times of shutdowns and layoffs. Additionally, with many people still at home for weekend Masses, the number of envelopes in the collection boxes have decreased from pre-COVID times. With this being said, I strongly encourage everyone, especially those who are not able to physically join us in church on the weekend, to consider making their Sunday offering electronically. Not only is this easy, it also helps us know more reliably what to expect when we plan our budgets in the future. Giving electronically can be done for one-time and recurring gifts. To sign up for electronic giving, click “Faithful Giving” on our website’s homepage, then click “Online Giving” and follow the instructions. If you would like help setting this up, feel free to contact Dianne at the parish office.
Our gross income for this year is currently well below budget because we have not been able to have our normal fundraising events. For example, we budgeted a $12,000 profit from our wine tasting event, but due to COVID restrictions, we have not been able to make that event happen. However, because many of our operations and programs are either shut down or virtual, we have not incurred many of the expenses we would have under normal circumstances. All of this being said, at the end of November, our year-to-date net income was $89.00 (whoa!). On one hand, such a small net income is reason for concern, especially with the downward trend in Sunday collections. On the other hand, most parishes in our diocese are taking on major losses during COVID as they are falling extremely short of their budget.
As a parish, we have much for which we can be grateful and much towards which we should continue to be careful and attentive as we navigate through this strange year. Be assured that I am grateful for all of you, and for your faith and generosity, without which, we would have nothing.