As the finance team puts the finishing touches on the 2018-19 fiscal year at Sunridge, it provides me with the opportunity to look back and reflect on what God has accomplished in and through Sunridge the past twelve months. Even though the actual giving did not meet budget, it did not prevent us from making huge strides forward this year. Here are just a few examples you may have missed:
- Installed a new HVAC unit
- Improved the drinking water options while helping the environment
- New mulch in entry and parking areas – Giant shout out to Tim Josee for donating the material and the A-Team for volunteering labor
- Improved safety on the west side of our building to prevent trip-and-fall accidents
- Repaired vandalized parking lot lights
- Remodeled the kitchen – Giant shout out to Gary Winger and the A-Team for volunteering time and materials
- Upgrade to our FiOS speeds to match Sunday morning needs
- Improvements to our campus WiFi by adding monitored, configurable, and secure access points – Giant shout out to Dale Wellman and Jeff and Andrew Dykhouse for volunteering their skills and time to get this done
Live Love (part of our Vision)
- Hosted three memorials
- Handled 10 Agape (benevolence) requests providing over $8,000 in assistance
What makes all of this progress so amazing is that this building that Sunridge calls home is a 54,000 sq. ft. facility that sits on almost 8 acres and the entire facilities team for this sprawling campus is made up of 3 part-time staff and a part-time facilities manager. The entire IT team consists of a single volunteer. I didn’t even touch on the Hallway Renovation and the small army of volunteers required to pull off this amazing transformation! So when I reflect on the last twelve months, all I see is God’s faithfulness and provision to His church in allowing us to partner with Him to accomplish the mission of helping people find and follow Jesus.
If you would like to know more about how you can partner with Sunridge and be a part of what God is going to do in the next twelve months, here are a few links to get you going:
Just like in past quarterly update posts, I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to read Britt’s quarterly e-mail sent to those who financially support Sunridge.
It’s Monday afternoon on October 7th, and I’m sitting in front of my computer putting down a few thoughts to you, one of our 679 financial supporters. A week ago, we celebrated our 30th anniversary of being a church in this valley. We’ve just launched our compass-setting series, “Made Whole,” accompanied by a Sunridge group collective based on the thought-provoking curriculum, “When Helping Hurts.” My heart is so grateful for God’s provision in the past, and I am excited about our future!
This quarterly update is more of a “nuts and bolts” report. I’m going to explain why you see a reduced budget for this fiscal year, and detail what effects that will have on our ministry. I’ll try not to veer off into the weeds and geek-out on budget details!
This fiscal year we’ve set our annual budget at 1.6 million. That is a 5.5% decrease from last year’s budget of 1.7 million. We reduced the budget this year because actual giving did not match our budgeted expenses last year. We’re not dismayed by that. Our budget has been trending upward in each of the last four years, and has always been matched by your faithful giving, the past year being the exception. That’s not on you; that’s on us. We do our best every year to be fiscally conservative but forward-leaning in our financial planning. Our budgeting process includes examining giving trends of the past, predicted growth trends of the future, implementation of our five-year strategic plan, corroboration with our volunteer financial advisory board, lots of prayer, and final approval by the Elders. No church can be “up and to the right” year after year. We still celebrate the fact that our giving is up $440,000/yr. over four years ago! We are confident in God’s faithfulness to Sunridge, and we are looking forward to restoring those cuts in the future.
We made cuts to the budget while keeping the heart of Sunridge. We’re a church that exists to help people find and follow Jesus, so we kept people and our mission foremost in making budget decisions. We didn’t cut staff, but we’re not adding staff. No one received a cost of living increase. We chose a lesser health care option. We didn’t cut outreach. We trimmed our operational costs. We cut some of our asset replacement categories. Some things that were funded or subsidized in last year’s budget will be “pay to play” in this year’s. One of the things we didn’t cut is tucking away money into our “emergency fund.” (And all our Dave Ramsey people said, “Amen!”) That fund has been building up over the last few years so that now, we can cover an “unexpected” cost of $100,000 to update our fire alarm system. When we obtained city permits to replace the broken AC unit servicing our upstairs offices, we discovered our fire alarm system was not up to code. Evidently it never was. Bummer! But, that’s what an “emergency fund” is for right? We just cut a $50,000 check to this project without impacting our checking account. Thank you for trusting us to be wise and good stewards. You see, in spite of the cuts, we’re going to keep the main thing the main thing!
In spite of last year’s overall giving being slightly down, you gave $100,000 to the CIF (Capital Improvement Fund), a 30% increase over the previous year. It’s clear you are passionate about seeing our campus updated. It is looking amazing! We have such a great team of volunteers who have worked incredibly hard in seeing that our campus says, “We were thinking you’d be here!” They’ve helped keep our costs low. Your sacrificial giving has allowed us to complete the project with cash, without incurring more debt. In addition, your gifts allow us to re-carpet and paint the worship center – and install a cross! We’re mapping out the task list for that renovation now!
More people are giving and are giving more consistently than ever. In spite of giving being a little down over the previous year, 679 of you are financially supporting the ministry of Sunridge, a 28% increase over last year. And, of those who give, you are giving more consistently than ever. 28% of you give at a “consistent” level now (We define consistency as giving in at least 11 months out of 12). Four years ago, we were at about an 11% consistency rate. As you can imagine, consistency is so important in our month-to-month expenditures. Thank you for being faithful.
Hey Sunridge, this is going to be such a great year for us. Thank you for being all-in with us as we reach this valley with the hope of the gospel. I am so thankful for each of you. You give in so many ways. Your financial support is just one of them.
Here’s to 2020! We couldn’t do it without you!