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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Finances reshaped as economy struggles

Thirty-five synods revised their 2009 mission support after the November 2008 Church Council meeting, leading to a “$2.4 million — 3.5 percent reduction,” said ELCA Treasurer Christina Jackson-Skelton.

Mission support income comprises 80 percent of the churchwide operating budget, she said. Endowment funds and missionary sponsorship are also down. Despite synod reports of “downward trends in income,” she said the organization is stable and has “sufficient liquidity to continue to fund ministry obligations.”

Wyvetta Bullock, executive for administration, described budget reductions across units, including elimination of 23.5 full-time positions, a partial hiring freeze, 3 percent pay reductions for unit executives and identifying “potential areas of strategic disengagement.”

The council approved a revised 2009 operating budget of $95.5 million, down from $103 million. It also recommended that the 2009 Churchwide Assembly approve budget proposals that project income levels of $95.4 million for 2010 and $95.8 million for 2011.


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