From the Deacons

What’s At Stake: The Spiritual Heart of Plymouth’s Budget

November Sessions

Over 230 of you completed the survey that the Deacons have circulated. Thank YOU! The Deacons have just begun to make meaning out of the what you reported.

At these next discussions we will have some of the results of that for you to talk about with us, to help us understand who we are as a Church community, as described in this data.

Do join us. Discussions about a draft budget for 2024 are being scheduled and will be announced as soon as possible.

Dear Friends,

In June, the congregation passed a six-month budget to allow time for us to wrestle collectively with our current financial challenges and opportunities. In tandem with the creation of a budget for the 2024 calendar year, the Deacons are hosting a series of congregational conversations.

Each discussion is a stand-alone, and each is different, but all of them aim together:

  • to increase our capacity to talk to and listen to each other,  
  • to help us live into our covenanted relationship with each other,  
  • and to deepen understanding as we make spiritually informed decisions about our budget.   

These conversations will conclude with our congregational meeting in January 2024 to vote on the church’s budget.

Beyond this 6-month period, the Deacons will be leading a multi-year process to discern together how we want to invest our time and resources to advance the Purposes of the Church, how we want to respond to the current realities of being a church, and how we are being called to evolve as Plymouth Church. More details on this longer-range plan will follow.

Here’s our six-month conversation outline:

  • May – What are our values?
  • June – What are the questions that we need to consider in this budget process?
  • July – What are our ideas/feelings about money?
  • August – What are our ideas/feelings about giving?
  • September – What about our building?
  • October – How should we think about our abundance?
  • November – What are/should be Plymouth’s priorities?

We’ve held the first two conversations already.

In May, we focused on values – ours and Plymouth’s. We invite you to take a few minutes to do that exercise for yourself (attached). We’d welcome your lists/thoughts at deacons@plymouth.org

In June, at the second conversation, we invited participants to identify what they consider the key questions that Plymouth needs to explore. A list of those questions is attached. The Deacons boiled these down to three topics around which we’ll organize three sets of conversations: Our building? Our abundance? Our priorities? Each of these is key to decisions we’ll be making about the 2024 budget. We’d welcome your responses to these topics at Deacons@plymouth.org .  You’ll see that these three questions will shape our conversations in the fall.

In July we talked about money as an idea and a feeling. We invite you to think about how your own relationship to money.

We will be posting more information and notes from these conversations here. We’ll also continue to post schedules, reminders, and brief reports in the Friday email.

We welcome and thank you for your participation.

In community,

Deacons:  Sue Astin, Annette Atkins, John Cairns, Peter Eichten (moderator), Jasper Jonson, Sarah Lehman, Jay Matre, Mike McCallister, Lynn Moline