This isn’t a flashy blog post but it calls us to great responsibility. At the recent Ninth Triennial Convention of WELCA. I spoke adamantly at the mike (which I’ve never done in the past four triennials I attended) in opposition to the reduction in the size of the churchwide executive board. Two minutes was not long enough for me to adequately voice my reasoning, but I won’t finish my presentation on this blog.
I believe in the conversations and the voice that happens as board members sit and visit with women in their synodical women’s organizations and units. This organization is your organization, and you’ve entrusted a variety of board members to represent you in good faith.
I also believe in the responsibility of passed memorials, resolutions and budgets. These are often passed overwhelmingly, and then what happens after the voting members leave the assembly hall? These are not votes that allow us to go home and do nothing or call upon someone else to create awareness about these issues but rather call us to ACTION!
It is OUR budget that I particularly want to visit about here. It is our responsibility, in light of our affirming votes, to see that these goals are met and exceeded. Oftentimes meeting a budget is due to the careful management of expenses and perhaps not due to the abundant gifts (offerings) of the women who support this organization. Meeting a budget might mean the reduction in the churchwide staff already asked to carry a great workload. We ask so much of staff—so much is expected. Meeting a budget was one of the reasons for the reduction in board member size. Meeting a budget, and exceeding a budget, is OUR responsibility.
I am a firm believer that if you offer a negative then offer a positive solution or creative ways to put an idea into action. The idea may have some issues in the beginning but brainstorming may be the small step needed to create a great end result. Be a problem solver! Don’t rely on an idea that we’ve seen for the past 15 years that has not given the organization growth.
So how can we exceed the budget on the income side? Be the voice at your SWO conventions, fall and spring gatherings and unit meetings. Inform the ladies what their dollar gets them. Be the example: put more in the basket yourself so that others may see your expanded giving. Give a year-end gift to the on-going churchwide ministries (thus making an effort for board members to fulfill their duties at board meetings and conventions). If you don’t gift all the monies in your budgets, line item scholarships for example, then send it to the churchwide organization for on-going ministries. (You were going to give it away anyway J.) Take an offering in church, a quilting day or to honor someone who has been so vital to your congregation in WELCA. Maybe we can…maybe we can’t…but we won’t know until we throw it out there. The door is open for so many great reasons to give!
I said no to the change and yes to the budget. I have raised my WELCA offering in the past and will continue to do so. Will you? Tell me how you intend to meet this budget. Tell me about your creative plan!
Syd Brinkman, of Allison, Iowa, served on the churchwide executive board from 2008-2014.
Photo by Cindy Pogge. Used with permission.