The ELCIC has opted for a stand-pat budget over the next three years with little change in revenues foreseen.
Delegates adopted budgets for 2005, 2006 and 2007 with total expected revenues stable at between $3.2-3.4 million annually. A freeze in expected benevolence income from the five synods is the main reason for static revenues. The ELCIC is budgeting for benevolence from the synods to remain unchanged at $1.264 million between 2005 and 2007.
National church officials are planning for a balanced overall budget in 2005, but deficits are projected for 2006 and 2007 unless extra revenue is forthcoming.
The ELCIC recorded a surplus in 2004 of just under $151,000 after originally budgeting for a $28,000 deficit, according to audited statements circulated at the convention.
The meeting heard earlier in the week that a steady drop in benevolence receipts from synods over the years is a big reason for the ELCIC's financial squeeze.
National benevolence receipts totalled less than $1.1 million in 2004, compared to over $2 million in 1986, according to treasurer Norman Thompson.
The annual amount synods received from congregations has remained fairly steady at over $4 million since 1986. Because synods have their own financial constraints, they are contributing less to the national office all the time.
ELCIC headquarters last year received just 24% of all the benevolence money donated by congregations to synods. In 1986, that figure was nearly 51%.
Page revised August 16, 2005.