The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Economic resource for synods

At the end of 2008, ELCA Treasurer Christina Jackson-Skelton wrote to the church’s 65 synods, thanking them for their “commitment to employ good financial stewardship.” She also sent them resources for budget prioritization and contingency planning “in the midst of the current volatile economy.”

In a Dec. 15 cover memo she wrote that “the churchwide organization is operating with solid financial performance and very little variability, particularly compared to most other organizations.” The churchwide organization has closely managed expenses and experienced some savings due to such normal events as staff vacancies, she added.

“Clearly, however, some areas of the country are more directly affected by the economic conditions, and the full potential impact of the current economic recession is not yet known,” she wrote. “We want to stay in close communication with synods during this time, especially where you anticipate significant swings in income.

“It is always advisable to be prepared to adjust spending programs and activities based on revised income estimates. The easiest way to do this is to develop contingency plans and strategic plans that will guide you in adjusting spending if there should be a large decrease or increase in income.”

Jackson-Skelton added: “Doing budget contingency planning is not new for the churchwide organization, although the tools we use to prioritize our programs vary from year to year,” she wrote.


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Embracing diversity