June News Regarding the Foundry Management Board

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Update on the Foundry Management Board and Church Conference

The Foundry Management Board, a nine-person elected group, meets monthly to discuss and make decisions regarding the management of the church. This report covers the June 24, 2014 meeting.

Foundry strives to close budget gap

Revenues have declined and expenses risen so far this year, leaving Foundry with a budget gap that church leadership will try to close in the next few months, according to figures analyzed at the June 24 meeting of the Foundry Management Board.

On the expense side, Foundry spending totaled $807,000 through May 31 but was projected to be $798,000. The $8,300 excess is slightly higher than the $7,500 expense overage at this same time in 2013.

The projected revenue through May 31 was $798,000 but receipts have only totaled $589,000, leading to a $209,000 shortfall. That compares to a deficit of $43,000 at the same point last year when the budgeted amount was $766,000 and the actual YTD was $723,000. This shows that the budget was increased by 4.2 percent and revenues are at 73 percent of budgeted. Last year at the same time they were at 94 percent.

The revenue side is being closely monitored. The staff and Board are mindful that receipts spike in the last six months of the year, and that this year’s budget projected revenue to be 4.2 percent higher than it was last year. Foundry staff is analyzing two groups of Foundry members who could make a difference in closing the budget gap – those who pledged in 2013 but have not done so this year and those who donated to the church last year but have neither pledged nor given this year.

The latter group consists of about 400 individuals or families of which about 200 of those live out of the area or were visitors.  Another 50 of those have no contact information or have stop coming to Foundry.  The remaining 150 regular attenders gave between $1 and $25,000 in the year 2013, according to Al Hammer, Foundry associate pastor and chief operations officer. Church staff will study attendance records to determine whether these members are still active in the Foundry community.

“We’ll try to discern better why they’re not giving,” Hammer said at the Management Board meeting.

The effort would engage the Stewardship ministry team.

Management Board member Paula Blair said that figuring out donation patterns is a key step in ensuring the church’s financial health.  “We have to understand who’s in our pews and who’s giving,” Blair said.

Foundry is continually working to bring operating costs down, according to Hammer.  He said the church has achieved savings recently in the areas of electricity purchasing and trash hauling.  “We’re always looking for creative ways to cut these expenses,” Hammer said.


Mission Possible committees reconstituted

The Management Board also began a discussion of how the leadership of the Mission Possible building renovation project would be reconstituted following the successful June 1 congregational vote to move ahead with Phase I.

During planning and fundraising over the last two years, the effort was led by finance and building renovation task forces. They have finished their appointed responsibilities stipulated by the 2011 Foundry Charge Conference and likely will be reconstituted into ministry teams for finance, building and communications.

Those groups will continue to play a central role in the project, as it moves into the construction phase over the next year. As he has been from the inception of Mission Possible, Hammer will continue to be the primary staff person involved in the project.

“This is an important next step,” Blair said. “It should be structured well and staffed well.”


Election dispute

The board also voted, 5-0, to deny a request by James Abbott to suspend the results of the election for Management Board seats at the June 1 Church Conference. Abbott was one of six candidates for the three seats that were open. Board President Dan Vock and board member Louise Franklin, who were also candidates in that election, recused themselves from the June 24 Board discussion and vote on the dispute. The Board discussed the specific concerns and points raised by Abbott before voting. If Abbott wishes, he can raise the matter to the district superintendent.

In the church conference, Foundry members elected Vock, Franklin and P.J. Taylor for the open seats. Vock and Franklin will serve second terms; Taylor will begin his first term. Those terms begin at the next Board meeting.


--Mark Schoeff Jr., Barbara Cambridge and Elder Wellborn on behalf of the Mission Possible communications team