At the beginning of the video, Fr. Jim mentions the financial report that was sent out earlier this year. That report is included below in case you'd like to read it again.
At the end of the video, Fr. Jim invites you to become more deeply involved in the parish, to see what gifts and talents God has given you that you can share with the parish community. If you are a member of our parish here in Ann Arbor Michigan, we ask you to complete this Time and Talent Form to indicate the areas in which you'd like to become involved.
My fellow parishioners:
Several years ago Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain commented in a speech that it had been an annus horribilis for her and her country. I don't think it is an overstatement to say that it has also been an annus horribilis – terrible year – at least economically, for us in our country, our state and even our parish. With this opening thought, I send you our Annual Financial Report!
The parish finance council, staff, ministry leaders, and I have worked very hard to decrease costs. We have reduced staff, cut spending, and tried to more wisely husband our resources. Despite this, we ended the fiscal year slightly in the red -- $28,000. Our Sunday collections were down 3.4% -- or about $76,000. A $28,000 shortfall in terms of a total parish income of over $5,000,000 is not bad (this includes all tuition, religious education fees, development money etc. as well as Sunday collections). I hope this shows that we have managed well. We had hoped to end the year in the black, but that did not prove to be the case. Savings from previous years has covered this deficit.
This coming year is not looking a lot better – especially in Michigan. I ask you, as I did last year, to continue to sacrifice and to give at the same level as previous years. We will get through the year.
Many of you are still employed and while some incomes are down, I ask your support, and if at all possible, to sacrifice and give just a little more than last year. Together, each giving a little more will make a difference for the entire parish. Your giving will help make up for those who cannot give because they are unemployed. To help everyone gauge his/her giving, we are including your contribution statement for the first seven months of this calendar year.
Despite, and perhaps because of this annus horribilis, many good things continue to happen at St. Francis. Just to name a few that connect with the economic crisis: our fellow parishioners have reached out to help others in the parish that are facing foreclosure. They have also helped each other deal with unemployment and find new jobs. And even with the decreased income in the parish, we have been doing more counseling, spiritual direction, and individual care to those in need. I think you will all agree that this is important to do for each other. We are striving to use our resources well and to use them in ways that make a difference.
In late September, I will present a more complete Annual Report which reflects not only finances, but all that we are and all that we do here as St. Francis as the Body of Christ.
For now, please accept the enclosed Financial Report. I hope it helps all to understand how we are faring financially and what lies ahead of us
Fr Jim McDougall