Monday, September 22, 2008

What office?

I have spent the entire morning in my home office working out some details of the parish budget. I'm here because that's where the computer is.

The financial situation in our diocese here is . . . well . . . less than ideal . . . and we are all trying to come to grips with the reality of that situation. One of the things our bishop and council did several years ago was institute a "Five-Year Plan" in which assisted congregations were encouraged and challenged to get themselves off of diocesan assistance and figure out how they could become financially independent.

In some cases, this should be fairly easily accomplished simply because we have some large parishes who receive assistance for no other reason than they think they need to be assisted. In other cases, this is a real struggle because they are in situations that honestly require assistance. My two congregations fall into the latter category.

Arriving here four years ago, I had a total of 12 parishioners between the two parishes. Four years later, we are nowhere near reaching that goal of financial independence within that five-year plan. However, the good news here is that my total number of parishioners has risen up to around 40 for both parishes.

So, the trick is to present our own plan to the diocese that covers where we've been, where we are, and where I hope to be . . . and then hope that there's money somewhere so that I can still afford groceries.


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