This week I will take a break from what I had planned on; that is continuing to focus and explore the origins and reality of the Ordinariate. I have found that my studies in that area has lead me to the need for further research in order to properly explain the membership requirements thereof; so please stay tuned for the fruits of that exercise in up coming weeks.
This will also give me time to catch up on a few things going on in the congregation.
I am both excited and concerned about St John Vianney; which leaves me on a roller coaster of emotions.
Thursday, the building committee will meet to look at our plans for both the office, the chapel, and the main church building. We are fully funded and I am anxious to get this building project underway.
Today, though, I must again look deep into our finances. Currently we are $20,066.11 in the red for this operating year, which runs from July to July. We have approximately $8000.00 in the bank.(operating) This concerns me. After some arithmetic, we can deduce that this means we are going into the red $3147.22 a month. This budget deficit has been going on for years now (different levels, but in the red annually since 2019). After some more division, we can see that we have 2.5 months of life left in St John Vianney.
Sometime in February we will have to make a decision.
1) Dip into the building fund, which is full of designated funds that people gave for a building, not for operating capitol. If we do this we run the risk of never getting a donation again, as people will understand that though we might say we are collecting for a certain project, our history tells all that we might not carry through with our word.
2) Cut our budget $3000.00 a month. This means paying off our land so we can recover that monthly payment; but that will only garner us $2000.00 a month (approx.). We will still need $1000.00 month. This will have to come from the payroll, as nowhere else in the budget can we find this kind of expense. This means a part time priest, or no music. My going to part time is not my call, we would have to involve the Chancery in that decision. It might seem cutting me back would be the option, but I have served multiple missions before, being a part time minister to all three. Though I did experience growth, it is very difficult to get a small mission back to parish status with a part time minister. In my 18 years in the Episcopal Church I only saw two missions become parishes, and those had some extenuating circumstances that allowed them to grow; circumstances we are not likely to experience.
Believe me, the parish council will be looking at this situation, hoping to find a way to make this work. Please think about your pledge. If you enjoy Divine Worship, if you enjoy traditional liturgy and music, if you enjoy daily masses and confession, if you enjoy being able to call your priest and getting a response, please consider giving more to St John Vianney. This is likely not a one person job, we will all have to step up and give if we want this ministry to continue. Please pray for our small quasi-parish.