Bulletin Letter May 31

Dear Parishioners,                                                                                                                +JMJ

On May 21st, we had another finance council meeting. The following is a brief summary of what we covered.

-We looked at the balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and the payables report through the month of April.

-Two finance council members, Judy Robinett and Shawn Dooley, completed our first ever monthly internal audit just prior to the finance council meeting. They were guided by a standard template from the Diocese. Their experience was discussed. Soon a former diocesan auditor will come and check their work, and give us more detailed instruction on how to use those forms. Finance council members will take turns in pairs filling out the forms for an internal audit each month.

-We presented the highlights of the upcoming fiscal year budget July 2015-June 2016. We noted that the front office administrative assistant position will start to be part-time, rather than full-time, beginning July 1. This is to help us live within our means, since it seems we are regularly below are weekly budgeted collection income.

-We brought up the possibility of offering online donation by means of a credit card or electronic check. There would be a set fee for each transaction, plus a small percentage taken from the amount donated; but some organizations claim that their giving has increased by adding the electronic options; and so they say it is worth the cost. We discussed that some people might like this better than an automatic withdrawal system that gives the church permission for automatically scheduled withdrawal. We could try this for one year (still leaving intact still the automatic withdrawal we now have) and see how it works. Mainly because of time constraints, no decision was made whether to offer a credit card or electronic check option. We will talk about it again at the next meeting in the fall.

-We presented the financial statement from the Antwerp craft show. Net profit of $3,424 was made.

-We noted the wine tasting event to be held at our Payne campus in September. Licenses for the event will be quite easy to obtain. Initially it seems people who have heard about the idea like it a lot.

-We discussed our cemeteries in light of the fact that the Diocese is looking at the possibility of creating a handbook with recommended policies for parishes with cemeteries. Dianne Jones will serve as a member of the diocesan cemetery policy committee.

-Finally, a significant amount of time was spent looking at the Antwerp campus moisture problem. As reported before in the bulletin, the multi-faceted project will cost about $60,000. Then the management of the project by the Martin-Riley Company of Fort Wayne will cost another $6000. The proposal from Martin-Riley looks quite promising. We will write a letter to the Diocese explaining the project, and that we would like Martin-Riley to be the general contractor for it. Martin-Riley, upon the go-ahead of the Diocese, would still have to solicit three comparative bids from companies to do the work. My guess is that the Diocese will give approval, pending our ability to raise enough money for the project. Of course, soon we have to provide details to the parishioners. I envision a display on our bulletin boards in the back of our churches, and then making available an e-mail packet and some hardcopies for anybody who would like to read through exactly what we have received from Martin-Riley, including all of the pictures taken to back up their proposal. It seems to me we really need to fix the moisture problem, and I think we have a hopeful solution before us. Let’s see how everybody responds once the proposal is published widely.

So there is a summary of the finance council meeting.

On another note, I canceled the upcoming musicians workshop, because it seemed there were not enough people signing up, and I had a handful who definitely said they could not make it. I had to make a decision, rather than letting Jeff Wisniewski do a bunch of preparation, only to learn at the last minute that we did not have enough participation to warrant the cost of the day. After the cancellation, I got feedback suggesting that perhaps I had not really communicated clearly enough our need to have people register in advance. Registration was necessary in order for us to know how many handouts to xerox, how much food and drink to have for hospitality, etc. My apologies for any lack of communication on my part. I thought that we had communicated the need for registration. I will try to be much clearer next time, hoping that we can reschedule the day in October. Jeff Wisniewski is considering the possibility of using a long weekend he has away from seminary this coming October.

On another note, our YDisciple presentation evening went well. Everybody in attendance signed up to be involved. (I was grateful to have traveled to Fostoria on the day prior to hear one of the creators of Ydisciple speak to diocesan youth leaders.) But there are clearly many more people who will somehow want to make up the information missed (many were not in attendance), since Ydisciple will begin in September. I envision Ydisciple high school mens and womens groups meeting three times a month, and then having a whole-parish high school youth event once each month. By mid-June I would like to have identified small group discussion leaders for one men’s group and one women’s group on each campus. Questions can be directed to Theresa Conley. Perhaps we will do a mailing to make sure each home with high-schoolers gets this info. I am very hopeful about the awesome content of this program, and its potential for flexibility – given our three-campus scenario and super busy lives. I plan on having a high school core team of parents and high school students together by August to help me lay out the plan of whole-parish high school events.

Thanks for the various good wishes and congratulations upon my belated installation! It’s nice finally to be fully official.

Have a blessed week!

In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,

Fr. Poggemeyer