From the President, Bob McKinney

I appreciate those who came out to our Fall on the Courtyard event.  The weather did not cooperate for anything outside, but I think we all enjoyed the fellowship and good food.  Our Halloween Bingo Party at Niles Shepherd of the Valley was another success.  Judy and her gang do such a good job.  It’s fun to dress up and bring some fun to the residents.  I want to thank Pat Was for the Veteran information for our congregation and the map with the locations of each service man’s tour locations.  Very nice job!  The sermons Pastor is doing for our tithing responsibilities are right to the point.  I think we, as a church, need to make the decision of what we are about.  Will we be a church that pays salaries, utilities, and meet on Sundays to worship and that’s it?  Or will we be a church of outreach, spreading the word of God in our communities with funded committees doing their work?  We are currently looking at passing a budget with several committees being completely defunded.  We are talking about personnel raises.  Should we do that at this time?  Right now the budget has not been approved by Council to present to the congregation at our Annual Meeting, but that will happen in December.  We are dangerously close to a financial meltdown here at Living Lord Lutheran Church.  We need to start looking outside the box for creative ways of funding a realistic budget.  Pastor wants to have every member conversations concerning our budget and tithing.  I am certainly not opposed to that, but in my heart I do not think that will be the solution to our long-term problem.  I have not said anything to Council about this column and I am sure this could upset some folks, but you need to hear this.  Here are a few suggestions that I think could be pursued:  (1) Cut the ELCA Benevolence line 1102 in the budget.  We simply do not have the funds to sustain this level of giving.  We probably will not meet that level of giving this year.  (2) Look at changing the by-laws of the Fuchs Fund to allow a portion of the yearly interest to be used for the everyday running of the church.  We have a large sum of money sitting in banks earning interest and every year the interest is used for property improvements, which are needed.  But I think keeping the church open and viable is a reason to look at this fund.  Now I know that these two items are like a sacred cow to some people in the church, but we are at a crossroads.  And tough decisions need to be made.  I would really like to have a church meeting between both services sometime in December to discuss all of this and get your concerns and comments before we recommend a budget for your passage at the Annual Meeting.  Also, one last thing, I want to thank Pat Was again for stepping up and chairing the Finance Committee for the rest of this year.  His knowledge has been very helpful.