Congregation Mission Offerings (CMO) received in 2018 totaled $21,111,878. We are grateful for this generous support our synod’s mission and ministry. The total, however, was $246,000 (1.2%) below the offerings received in 2017 and $148,000 (0.7%) less than what congregations had indicated in their CMO subscriptions for the year. More than a decade of flat, and now even decreasing, CMO has made it increasingly challenging to maintain our current level of ministry, not to mention to seize some of the many gospel opportunities that God is graciously placing before us.
Adding to that challenge is the fact that subscriptions for 2019 are $20,913,700, nearly 1% less than 2018 receipts. Since our planning forecasted that subscriptions would be met in 2018 and that subscriptions for 2019 would increase by 0.5%, the task to maintain and expand ministry has become even more difficult. The results for 2018 and subscriptions for 2019 are $350,000 less than the forecast and compound to reductions from what was used for planning the next biennium of $454,000 and $456,000 for Fiscal Year 20 and Fiscal Year 21, respectively.
One bit of good news is that offerings for January 2019 were 6.4% higher than the January offerings in 2018.
At its meeting later this week, the Synodical Council will be looking to adopt a Ministry Financial Plan that recognizes these financial realities. All areas of ministry have been asked to look for ways to economize and to plan for less spending than what had been anticipated. Once a plan for the next two years is adopted by the Synodical Council, it will be forwarded to the synod convention this summer for approval.
As the economy improves, we pray that God will enable congregations to meet—and even exceed—their CMO subscriptions in 2019.
Serving in Christ,
President Mark Schroeder