Renewal’s Financial Situation

Board may be faced with difficult decisions in November.

The good news is that Renewal Fellowship continues to be blessed with financial support from its members and supporting congregations. Every month, we receive significant donations. All of them believe that what we are doing to speak out on behalf of the evangelical wing of The Presbyterian Church in Canada and provide encouragement for ministers, elders, members and adherents is worthy of support.

In 2022, we received $32,740 from individuals and families, $11,873 from congregations, a grant of $1,500 and free office space. It’s humbling.

The bad news is that it wasn’t enough to support our personnel, operational and mission expenses. The shortage amounted to approximately $23,000. We can pay the bills only by dipping into financial reserves. Those reserves exist largely due to two sizable bequests. The Estate of Margaret Hill gifted $50,000 in September 2020. In 2016, we received $50,000 from the Estate of Myrtle Elizabeth Inglis. (We are still waiting for a $10,000 bequest that was notified about two years ago.)

By the grace of God, we have been able to remain afloat. But we can’t bank on one-time gifts. The reserves are rapidly dwindling.

Renewal started 2023 with total equity of $62,443. To the end of April we have received:

  • $7,624 from donations from individuals (compares to same-period donations of $10,269 in 2022 and $12,329 in 2021.)
  • $2,042 from donations from congregations (compares to same-period donations of $3,339 in 2022 and $6,142 in 2021.)
  • $570 from memberships.

This is a total income of $11,086.

During the same four-month period this year, our expenses totaled $24,255 (compares to same-period donations of $22,266 in 2022 and $22,911 in 2021) for a net loss of $13,169.

Our net assets are now $49,274. Our situation is not sustainable. If nothing changes, we will run out of money.

Our financial story is not unlike many congregations, whose budgets are directly tied to the number of people in the pews. The box to the right details total membership from RF’s beginning. For its first dozen years, there was a part-time Executive director. In 1995, the E-D became full time. These were the glory days. It included a robust membership and the publication of a national periodical, Channels, which was the voice for Reformed orthodoxy.

Unfortunately, there was decline. The E-D position had to be reduced to part time in 2013, where it remains at 40 per cent (two days per week on average.)

On that note, personnel costs (E-D and the Administrative Assistant) take up most of the operating budget – so they’d have to be reduced substantially.

The RF board of directors is well aware that tough decisions may have to be made. It’s why we are gathering for an in-person retreat November 4-5.

The bottom line is pretty obvious. For RF to continue to be a voice for evangelicals in the PCC and a source of encouragement for those who are now in the minority, we need an increase in donations. In an era of declining congregations and increasing costs of living, we realize it’s a very tough ask.

RF’s leadership will simply have to deal with whatever reality we find ourselves in. The board will also have to ask whether the will remains to support this organization at all – or can we operate on a further-reduced scale?

We cast all of this information out and simply ask you to pray.

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