The Christian Reformed Church has a deficit of more than $9 million as of the fiscal year ended on June 30.
However, the church’s board of trustees heard at its September meeting that the financial position of the church was improved by more than $2 million from what it would have been without budget cuts made earlier in the year.
“When we began the [calendar] year, we knew we were in for difficulties, and we asked people to make contingency plans. We improved the bottom line by expense reduction, driven at least half by reduction in compensation,” said John Bolt, the denomination’s director of finance and administration.
Compensation cuts included a reduction in pension and benefits and a salary freeze for all denominational employees. The deficit was primarily driven by a downturn in the economy that resulted in less money coming into the denomination’s coffers.
In the first two months of the current fiscal year, ministry share giving was stronger than what was budgeted. Ministry shares are the amount of money collected from local churches for shared denominational ministries.
The trustees also approved new employment policies, including one regarding CRC employees’ use of social media such as Facebook.
That policy states that any personal blogs or other information shared online that could reflect on the CRC must have a disclaimer stating that the author does not represent the denomination. It also cautions employees that any of their actions captured via images, posts, or comments can reflect on the denomination.