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Delegates receive assurance of financial confidence: MC Canada

   
 


Clare Schlegel, Mennonite Church Canada treasurer: hopeful about the future funding of the church.

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July 8, 2005
-by Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. — The financial processes and controls in place at Mennonite Church Canada are “…as good or better than any organization I have worked with in the last 25 years” reported Clare Schlegel to delegates.

Schlegel, treasurer and General Board member, and Lloyd Plett, Chief Financial Officer, reported year-to-date figures ending June 30 are on target with budget plans. They also noted that while congregational giving continues a slow but steady downward trend, individual giving is increasing at an offsetting rate.

Delegates responded both with praise and concern: praise for increasing commitments from individuals, and concerns about downward giving trends on the congregational side.

Al Rempel, director of resource development, illuminated the concern. “When we look at the overall percentages and how they are shifting, congregations are not dropping their support in large blocks. It’s incremental, one, two, three per cent on an annualized basis. It is a concern when you couple that with an inflationary measure against those dollars. So I encourage you to think about that as congregations when you plan your budget. How we are addressing is that we’re working very hard in attempting to engage with you as congregations on the program that you’re doing so there is greater appreciation and understanding. Visibility is a good thing as we work together.”

Schlegel added that he is hopeful about the future of denominational ministry, noting both the potential and the challenge of growing ministry.

Delegates were also grateful for the addition of a budget line to track designated giving Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. Ray Friesen, chair of the AMBS board, said, “It’s a real positive step forward and is consistent with priorities set earlier this week. On behalf of the board, thank you.”