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Finance Council Meeting Minutes – March 2018

St. Stephen the Martyr Parish
Finance Council
Thursday March 15, 2018


Attendees: Dick Schenck, Brian Gress, Juli Han, Ed Woll, Amber Rinehart & Deacon Ernie Abbott. Vern Sebby from Faith Direct was present as a guest.

Opening prayer – Our Father — All

Minutes from the 2/15/18 meeting reviewed and accepted as written.

The February, 2018 (8 month) financial statements were reviewed.

–Cash flow has continued to improve. Our next three pay period month will be this month. With school registration starting, we anticipate that we will be OK for the next couple of months. Next one after that will be in August, 2018.

–3030 update – February was a pretty good month @ $205k. This compares to $212k in 2/17. The amount received is more than Dick would have guessed based on the larger contributions received in the prior 3 months. We are $97k ahead of last year at this time. A couple of more months like this and we should be good for the balance of the fiscal year end. Our expense control has been good so far, as our spending has been flat compared to the prior fiscal year.

Pastor’s Report

–Father Dave was unable to attend the FC meeting (along with Jim Spurgin), as they were conducting interviews for the open Principal position at the school. When the FC meeting was over, Father Dave joined us to let us know that the Search Committee was in the process of interviewing 4 candidates for the position and that the selection should be made by Easter.

Deacon Marty’s Operation Manager’s Update

–Marty’s report was shared with the FC prior to the meeting. The primary item dealt with addressing four maintenance projects totaling approx. $28k that will be completed due to the success of Martyr Madness. These include work to be done for the doors in the school commons, patio replacement at the rectory, replacing dining room windows and some landscaping on the church property. An Adopt-a-Project theme was used at our fundraiser to help with the funding of these projects.

Stewardship & Development Update from Deacon Ernie:

–Deacon Ernie’s report was shared via email prior to the meeting. The main items included an update concerning the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal (We are well above our goal — $197k), and updates related to Martyr Madness. Father Dave announced those results earlier in the day via Pastor’s Connection that our net on Martyr Madness will be approx. $20k greater than 2017!

–Deacon Ernie had asked for some agenda time at our meeting to introduce Vern Sebby, an Account Executive from Faith Direct. This is an organization that specializes in assisting parishes with their E-Giving programs. They do business with approx. 800 parishes nationwide, and 10 in the Omaha Archdiocese. Father Dave’s prior parish in Fremont uses this program. This is a program that would be a competitor of our present vendor, Our Sunday Visitor. Copies of the Power Point presentation and the 5 year program projection that shows Faith Direct vs. OSV were shared with those FC members in attendance and were sent to all FC members a few days after the meeting. Those FC members present voiced comments related to making sure our staff does some research as to how it has worked for those that use the program. The biggest advantage appears to be less time by our staff in accomplishing their related tasks using Faith Direct. The cost would be less if we continue to grow our program.

Preparation for the 2018-19 Budget

–The third draft of our Summary Budget was shared with the FC showing a gap of $273.1k. We presently have $233.2k in the loan payment deposit account, so our gap is $40k. Changes from the second draft include lowering our AAF expense to $339.6k at the suggestion of the Archdiocese office. It is not settled yet, but it will be close to the new number.

–We do not have the health insurance premium increase yet. The Archdiocese is saying it still may be awhile before we know what the increase will be. They are using a 5% increase in their budget as we did with our budget. We are moving forward with a 2% pool increase for the teachers, as contracts are offered this week. This is what we used with our budget, so no adjustments have been made to lay personnel costs at this point.

–Between now and June 1st, we will be making additional adjustments to our proposed budget based on the new information we receive between now and then. One of the items we will be tracking is the status of our “Loan Payment Account”. Our goal is to have enough money in this account by June 30 to make a large portion of our loan payments during 2018-19 which will free up our cash flow. As of March 13th, the book balance was $243,738, actual balance is $233,238 (we are holding $10.5k in checks) & the actual loan balance of $489,852. Using draft #3, we will need to have approx. $273k in the “LPA” by 6/30/18 to make it work.

–The FC had a discussion related to what happens to the Loan Payment Account (LPA) once the actual loan balance is less than this account balance. At some point in the 2018-19 budget year, this will happen.  There are a couple of compelling reasons to continue this process; keep it going to demonstrate that we can pay for a loan that could be necessary for a future capital campaign and it would help to build up a reserve that would go toward that campaign. Something for the FC to consider at a future FC meeting.

–Dick updated the FC related to an email that went out to school families on March 9th that addressed the increases for tuition & registration fees. Father Dave asked Juli & Dick to put that email together and it went out through the school office. A copy of that email was included with the FC agenda. Dick had three emails forwarded to him from Roseanne providing some feedback related to this communication. This feedback included the following; we should look into a prepaid tuition program, pay 8 years in advance using today’s rate, the second one was OK with the increase but thought the communication was poorly written and the third one wanted to know if we also raised the tuition rate for RE.

 Other Items of Interest

–Thanks to FC members that provided $s for a FC contribution to Martyr Madness.

–Dick also updated the FC that he will be attending the next School Board meeting on April 17th to provide a financial update.

We are not planning for an April meeting at this time. Next meeting will be Thursday, May 17th.

Closing Prayer – Hail Mary — All

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