Dear Brothers & Sisters of the Chicago Church of Christ,
As the 2008 recession continued into 2009 with rising unemployment, falling asset values and failing institutions, we as members of God’s kingdom were not immune from economic hardships. Many among us were directly affected, suffering reductions in salary and benefits, financial stress and even job losses. Yet through all the turmoil, the disciples remained faithful and gave sacrificially. While both our membership count (-2%) and total giving (-4%) fell during the year, our per member giving has seen a 5% increase through the first five months of this year. In response to lower overall contribution dollars in 2009, the Board, along with the Elders, Ministry staff and Administrative staff, did a good job of responding to the difficult times by reducing expenses accordingly. And while we had originally forecast a net reduction in cash for the year, we actually experienced a cash increase due to unplanned staff reductions, lower overhead expenses and higher-than-anticipated revenues from special events such as the International Conference for Youth & Family Ministry.
To put things in some perspective, our external auditor, Capin Crouse LLC, which audits hundreds of churches across the country, did a peer group study of those same churches. For churches our size, the Chicago Church had higher cash reserves, lower expenses and slightly above average giving per attendee.
Some of the goals of the Board never change: use God’s resources wisely, maintain a comfortable cash reserve in safe accounts and respond with Biblical wisdom when faced with unexpected financial or legal situations. Our ultimate goal is to use God’s money to advance God’s kingdom, and to God be the Glory. Amen.
As my time on the board comes to an end, I want to thank and recognize those that have labored so selflessly and tirelessly to accomplish so much of what goes on unnoticed. Specifically I would like to lift up the Administrative staff, (Milton Hammuck, Jeff Krause, Kurt Roskopf, Paul O’Dette, Dwana Hirshman and Bill Sanders), for their work in the ongoing preparation and analysis of the never-ending, always-changing financial and legal reporting we are subject to as an Illinois corporation. To the Elders, a special thank you for your wise counsel. And finally to my fellow board members, many who have served much longer than I, whose business skill sets, mixed with a hearty blend of spiritual wisdom, made my job as "the keeper of the gavel" a joy and a light load: Wes Becton, Gary Daggett, Dwight Decker, Joe Dubowski, Anthony Hamilton, Phil Lasarsky, Jim Lefler, Luis Martinez, Mark Perkins and Steve Van Zale. When you see them in the fellowship, please give them a special recognition for their service.
Finally, as we all know, whatever little wisdom or talents we have come from the only true and living God, so to Him only belong the real glory and honor forever and ever. Amen.
June 13, 2010
The 2009 Audited Financial Statements are available for download.