News about the Foundry Management Board

Friday, December 13, 2013

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 October meeting, November charge conference, and December 2013 meeting.


Management Board: December 3, 2013

Major areas considered include the Stewardship Campaign, the 2014 budget, a report from the senior pastor, finance processes, the 2011 and 2012 audits, and committee reports. A closed executive session dealt with personnel matters.


Stewardship Campaign: With 281 pledges for nearly $1.2 million, Foundry needs nearly $256,000 more to fund its proposed budget, as of the Board’s December meeting. The amount of money pledged at this time of year is higher than last year at the same time, but fewer units have pledged. Follow-up is being done with 165 people/giving units who pledged last year but haven’t yet this year and with other possible contributors. Pledged income is by far the biggest source of revenue for the church, but Foundry also uses non-pledge offerings, investment revenues, and other sources to fund its operations.


2014 Budget: A $1.9 million budget was unanimously approved. The budget process was improved this year, with more time for the Board and staff to consider and revise their proposals. Next year the Board intends to be even more forward-thinking in regard to its participation in the setting of the budget.


Senior pastor’s report: Upcoming preachers who emphasize Foundry’s continuing commitment to advocacy regarding inclusivity are Rev. Cheryl Anderson MLK Sunday and Rev. Frank Schaefer on January 26. After each upcoming trial Foundry needs to be very public about its commitment. Dean praised the Advocacy Ministry Team for all its initiatives.


Finance Processes: Because of personnel changes, the monthly financial reports from October will be delayed until December. The regular reporting schedule will resume in January. The Board formalized its policy of  requesting monthly reports on income and expense, balance sheet, restricted net assets, and Mission Possible financial activity in time for Finance Committee meetings the third Tuesday of every month. A resolution passed unanimously that at each Board meeting the Board will vote about those authorized to sign checks and other financial documents.


Audit Review: With the Board and three members of the Audit Ministry Team present, the two authors of the 2011 and 2012 audits reviewed the process and subsequent Management Letters. Auditors advised that Foundry’s modified cash system is appropriate if records are kept regularly. Previous errors with allocations to restricted and unrestricted accounts have been cleared through a methodical review. Auditors made suggestions about changes in the recording process that could help with financial accountability. They also suggested a financial procedures manual and a calendar for decision making points regarding budgeting.



Facilities and Operations: A “Scope of Collection Statement for Historic Objects” was unanimously approved. The committee recommends the restoration of the Lucy Hayes portrait.


Personnel: A Charge Conference in late January will set clergy salaries.

Audit: Using the Management Letter as a guide, the committee will generate a running list of recommendations.


Governance: The committee has some proposals circulating. It may add more members.


Charge Conference: November 10, 2013

Applause broke out at the Nov. 10 Foundry Charge Conference during a report about what might otherwise be a dry subject – church finances.


But at this meeting, the announcement that Foundry had caught up on its audits drew an ovation. The church has finished the accounting reviews for 2010, 2011 and 2012 after a lengthy process.

“We are now there,” said Foundry Management Board President Dan Vock. “We are very thankful for that.”


The completion of the audits is crucial because it now allows Foundry to approach banks to seek a loan for the first phase of Foundry’s Mission Possible renovation project. The church has secured pledges of $3.1 million from more than 300 donors for the effort, which will create a large fellowship area on the church’s main floor, among other improvements.


In other business at the conference, Foundry announced that among its new members over the last year, 12 joined the church through profession of faith. Attracting congregants who had not previously belonged to a church is a top goal for each church in the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church.


In addition, Foundry clergy performed 23 baptisms over the last year.

“Keep the babies coming,” said the Rev. Theresa Thames, Foundry’s director of challenging study ministries.


Management Board: October 22, 2013

The Foundry Management Board convened Oct. 22 in a meeting devoted primarily to financial issues – including the 2014 church budget – and the senior pastor search process.

The first half of the meeting was held in executive session to consider the status of Foundry’s 2012 financial audits and the status of the search for a new senior minister.

In open session, the following topics were discussed:

-          A proposed 2014 budget totaling $1.9 million was presented to the board by the senior ministerial staff, an increase of $76,000 above the current year. The Board had asked staff for more robust programming, and the staff followed up with proposals for an additional $15,000 for the Africa Initiative, $5,000 for adult Bible study, and $5,000 for senior pastor transition. The Board will vote on the 2014 budget at its Dec. 3 meeting.

-          Approval of a proposal that Mission Possible proceeds that have been collected to date be transferred from a checking account to a money market account in order to earn interest income.

-          Discussion of policies governing the Foundry Endowment, and definition of duties of the Board’s Audit and Finance Committees.

-          Update on the audit of membership rolls to confirm status of Foundry members, including those who no longer attend the church, in preparation for the Charge Conference. Staff is conducting the audit, contacting lapsed attendees, and updating status in the church database.

-          Discontinuation of Foundry’s Thanksgiving Day worship service

-          Monthly updates of youth activities, including meetings, participation in worship by young people, and adult volunteers who work with youth. The board was reminded that Foundry adheres to the “Safe Sanctuaries” policy to ensure protection of children, youth, and other vulnerable persons. The policy is posted on the church website at:


The Board held a retreat Oct. 26 to build a better understanding of the Board’s role and its relationships with church staff.

Submitted by the Mission Possible Communications Committee

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