Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bubble and panic

St. Al's version of this phenomenon is long stretches of complacency interrupted by a Financial Crisis.

In early December, a parish insider recounted that a parishioner had said the parish had been "transformed" by our current pastor. Long experience told me that when I hear things like that, a Financial Crisis could not be far behind.

The January 18, 2009 bulletin (no longer online) carried a bold print message from the pastor on weekly envelope giving.
We have fallen about $40,000 behind last year in just a two-week period.

A few weeks of such appeals and giving was back on target. I expect complacency will be back on target, as well.

In my files I have a January 19, 2004 "Projection for 2003-2004 Fiscal Year". The 2003-2004 budgeted income from the weekly collection was $1,413,600. Using Tom's Inflation Calculator, the equivalent for the current 2008-2009 fiscal year would be $1,629,168.35.

The "Parish Giving Results" in the February 8, 2009 bulletin (page 3) include a footnoted reminder that
The total Fiscal Year contributions needed from envelopes and offertory collections to support parish-operating expenses are: $1,370,000.00.

That is, in purchasing power, 84% of what was received five years before. Seems to me a reason to not be complacent.



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