by Dave Pottenger, Ways & Means Commission Chair

The beginning of a new year is always a busy time for the Ways & Means Commission of Westminster. This year proved to be no exception, as we conducted our normal analysis of the previous year’s results while producing and approving our budget for the year ahead. Additionally, we spent a good bit of time assessing the feasibility of a capital campaign, and completed an in-depth analysis of our campus facilities. Ways & Means felt it would be helpful to provide a brief update on these important topics.

2017 Results: The year began in a challenging manner. In January of 2017, we faced a possible operating deficit for the year ahead of greater than $150,000. We asked the church to prayerfully reconsider their 2017 pledges, and we were greeted with a wonderful outpouring of support. This allowed us, at mid-year, to project a reduced deficit of about approximately $50,000. In true WPC fashion, you all continued to respond and pledges received continued to grow. At the same time, expenses were managed thoughtfully and prudently, without impacting the overall mission of the church. In the end, Westminster’s results showed a $25,000 surplus for the year.

Operating Budget for 2018: Attempting to make budget deliberations interesting requires abilities far beyond the capabilities of this author. Suffice to say that this year’s budget planning was relatively devoid of controversy. That was largely due to a significant demonstration of WPC’s commitment to living its mission, as demonstrated by a 5.2% increase in stewardship pledges. This allowed us to remain firmly committed to benevolences ($210,000 or 17.5% of our budget) while attending to the staff and resource needs of the church. It is important to note that WPC’s benevolences are significantly greater than $210,000, as many projects are conducted outside the scope of the operating budget.

Capital Campaign: Everyone will hear much more about our upcoming capital campaign in the weeks ahead. We believe it’s important for all to understand that more than two years of planning went into the pre-campaign process. Identifying campus needs, understanding our financial capabilities, and attempting to find the proper balance between what is needed and what we can afford were all significant elements of our deliberations. It is important to note that doing all this, while not being disruptive to the primary mission of the church, was paramount to all of us.

Campus Assessment: A campus the size and scope of ours is complex, and in need of continual investment in order that we maintain its efficiency and beauty. Additionally, we try to be sensitive to the ever-changing needs embedded within WPC’s ministry to the community. 2017 saw the Property Management Committee undertake a deep dive into all of these matters, the result of which is a very good understanding of our physical plant capabilities, and the challenges that need addressing in the years ahead.

As always, it is a privilege to serve the church in this capacity. We welcome any and all feedback as we move forward from here.