2022 Proposed Budget

General remarks

If you look at the spread sheet you will see that the projected income for 2022 is $345,082.00 and the projected expenses are $334,256.  The budget this year is tighter than previous years but as is evident projected income is significantly larger than what we have budgeted.  Recall, too, we still have a significant surplus from 2020.

The increase in statements of intent is impressive, especially when one considers that we already have enough pledged funds to pay for both the piano improvements and the upgraded sound and audio systems.  If you add the approximately $30,000 for the piano and sound/audio systems to the statements of intent the generosity of Good Shepherd members is stunning.

Explanation for changes in the budget

Benevolence: Recall that after we determine the operating costs for the year (not including loan payments), we allocate 26% of that amount to benevolence.  As usual, we have increased the synodical budget and have acknowledged the important work of Lutheran Services of Iowa and Aase Haugen Home by increasing our giving to both of them.  We have increased our contribution to food issues by creating a separate line for the Decorah Food Pantry and increasing the amount for supporting children.  We also have increased our support for AMMPARO and Path to Citizenship.

Education:  The most significant change here is that we now are paying for the Youth Director out of congregational giving (two anonymous gifts have paid this salary up to this point). 

Worship and Music: The decline in assisting musicians reflects funds we allocated last year related to doing services online. 

Office Operations: If one compares to the 2019 budget the increase in office supplies and telephone/communications has been significant.  Much of this change is a result of the costs involved in technology: zoom, enhanced internet, a more complex phone system, and the printing of an expanded bulletin intended to make it easier for visitors to follow the service, all contribute to these increases.

Facilities and Grounds: the cost of electricity has grown for reasons that require a fuller explanation than this short paragraph allows.  The past two summers we also have increased our water usage due to a combination of hot summers and more extensive landscaping (particularly the planting of new trees and keeping the Reformation Grove healthy). 

Note, too, the $1,092 budgeted for Gosolar.  In the past we paid Gosolar for the amount of electricity the solar panels generated.  The original agreement was to purchase the panels after a number of years but we agreed early last year to buy them now, with the payments spread out until November 2025.  The difference between the purchase payments and electricity payments is not significant.

The other increase is in the custodian salary.  We are combining the custodial position with a building caretaker position; this combined position calls for increasing the work hours from 5 hours per week to 10 hours per week; that is, we are doubling the number of hours worked. 

A word on salaries: Recall that we follow synod guidelines, based on the number of years since ordination, in setting the pastor’s salary.  We typically increase other salaries by 3%, which is what we did for the music director.  For each of the other three positions, we increased the hourly wage to $17 per hour.

Debt Retirement: We will continue paying off the renovation and HVAC debt at $3,500 per month. The two loans now are combined and we are paying 4.5% interest.   If we continue at $3,500 per month we will be debt free in April 2026.  Having seen the success of the stewardship campaign, we probably should consider increasing the proposed monthly payments (in 2020 we paid $4,000 per month).

Church Budget 2022