Because it was not obvious from the annual report where some of the financial information on the parochial report was coming from, I have been asking Bob for clarifications. He has been both patient and helpful, and I can only say that it is difficult to imagine a parish treasurer’s being any more forthcoming and cheerful than Bob has been. I now think I understand almost everything of a financial nature that appears in our parochial report.
This morning, Bob sent me a spreadsheet listing, among other things, money that we collect and forward to other organizations such as Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD). I was very surprised by his accounting, because some of these numbers appear nowhere in our annual report. For example, I extracted this chart of money we sent to various organizations last year from the information Bob supplied:
|Episcopal Relief and Development||$6,640|
|South Hills Food Pantry||$4,675|
|Church Periodical Club||$80|
|Pat Hurd Mission Trip||$2,551|
None of these numbers appears in the annual report, presumably because the amounts represent special collections, often in special envelopes, given directly to the recipients listed. I want to take note of these numbers because some parishioners chide us for our stinginess regarding outreach. Indeed, we spend no money on outreach from pledges and plate income. Parishioners should notice, however, that the Outreach Fund gave away $4,300 last year, mainly from fundraisers such as our fish fries. Likewise, ECW contributed nearly $13,000 in outreach to such organizations as ERD, Calvary Camp, and United Thank Offering. Without looking deeply for expenditures that might conceivably be construed as outreach, therefore, we can confidently say that we are giving away more than $30,000 to organizations doing outreach.
Should we be devoting more money to outreach? Probably. But let’s give ourselves credit for the outreach we are doing. And next year, let’s make sure that all our outreach, even money we collect and immediately send off to organizations like ERD, is shown in our annual report.