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Communication to Conference

Submitted by Rev. Nikki Stahl, SCC Board of Directors President

Greetings Siblings in Christ!

We can probably all agree that 2020 has been hard. This has been for me one of the toughest years of ministry both in the local church I serve and in the Conference serving as your President of the Board of Directors. Throw in the mix, three kids at home doing virtual learning while Ian and I work from home!

Despite all the hardship, it has also been one of the most rewarding years in ministry – for my family, my local church, and for our Conference. The SCC is blessed with some of the most passionate, kind, and Christ-centered people that I know! That includes clergy and lay leaders. This is starting to sound like I’m jumping ship, but no worries, you are stuck with me for 9 more months.    

The Board of Directors have completed several important tasks that I want to share with you:

  1. As per our contract, we completed a review of Rev. Campbell Lovett as Consulting Conference Minister from April 1st – September 30th. The Executive Committee is working to identify the specific interim tasks that Rev. Campbell can focus on as Interim Conference Minister starting October 1st. 
  2. The Board accepted Rev. Jeremy Albers request for time to work on his dissertation which means moving his hours down to 1/4 time for the fourth quarter of 2020. 
  3. Our 2020 4th Quarter forecast doesn’t look pretty mainly due to the loss of revenue at Slumber Falls Camp but can be found here.
    • Many churches continue to give to OCWM, so revenue to the Conference has not been impacted as much, although it is still operating at a loss.
    • We are looking at a fundraising plan to help offset the loss of camp revenue. More on that later. 
    • We have authorized our bookkeeper to pull funds from the United Church Fund to meet any cash flow issues that may arise from now through December 31st. 
    • We do not plan on reducing other staff hours in this final quarter of 2020. 
  4. Per our bylaws, a rough draft of the 2021 spending plan is due to the Conference. You can see that here and you can see a breakdown between SCC and SCF here.  The key word here is ROUGH Draft. We have included many expenses that will probably need to be reduced when the Board of Directors meets to vote on a final version on November 14th. 

    a.) We wanted to put realistic “what we would want numbers” in but we know we will need to look for reductions. Areas that will be considered include:
    • Reducing Interim Conference Minister salary from full time
    • Settled CM minister annual salary and benefits and other expenses related to search and call and moving have yet to be determined. Utilized top numbers based on research of Conference Ministers’ salary ranges.
    • Reduction in staff hours.
    • Other creative ideas that we come up with or you share with us as you look over this spending plan.

We know that these are tough times for many of our congregations just as it is for our Conference, and the numbers look, well, super ugly. And super ugly numbers are probably leading to some anxiety. And anxiety, if not managed well, can lead to reactive and potentially unwise decisions. And so we pause, and take a breath.

According to Psalm 98, we are called to “Sing a new song to God, for God has done [and continues even today to do] marvelous things. Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy.” So even though the numbers admittedly cause me some anxiety, I continue to sing a new song and make a joyful noise for all the ways in which God continues to do marvelous things through our Conference, through our local churches, and through you. 

The Board of Directors welcomes your prayers and wisdom in the coming months as we consider and vote on the 2021 Final Spending Plan at our November 14th Board of Directors Meeting.  

Blessed to be in Ministry with You,
Rev. Nikki Stahl

Comments(4)

  1. Reply
    Lee Ann Bryce says:

    Thank you Nikki for your leadership and thank you to all the conference board for your faithful effort. It is much appreciated.

  2. Reply
    Jo Hudson says:

    Yes, thank you, Nikki– We’re blessed to have you in leadership in our SCC.

  3. Reply
    Frank H Dietz says:

    Karen & I appreciate you “hanging in there” for us all as the circumstances continue to challenge and confound. It is an odd time which requires as you imply new rhythms and texts for freshness going forward. Gracias, Nikki, and your team of the willing as we press forward through this wilderness. Indeed, prayers for insight and wisdom, . . . !!!

  4. Reply
    Gary Kindley says:

    Good leaders speak the truth with grace and remind us of the strength and hope that we have. You and the SCC Board are such leaders! Grateful for Rev. Lovett and each of you who serve on the SCC Board and Ministry Team.
    Congratulations to Rev. Jeremy Albers for wisely using this time for furthering his education. Good things happening in challenging times!

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