The Synodical Council (SC) met last week for its spring meeting.
The SC reviewed financial results for the synod and its subsidiaries. The results are very positive due to increased gifts and lower-than-planned spending, which has led to increased levels of special fund reserves. We thank God for moving his people and WELS congregations to give generously in support of the work we do together as a synod.
The SC approved the support forecast (an estimate of the financial support that will be available to support the synod’s mission and ministry) for Fiscal Year 2024 and Fiscal Year 2025. On the basis of the support forecast, the SC approved the ministry financial plan that will be recommended to the synod convention this summer. Expenditure levels are anticipated to be $88.7 million for Fiscal Year 2024 and $90.9 million for Fiscal Year 2025.
The SC is recommending a 2.5 percent increase in salary for called and hired workers for each year of the coming biennium. The SC will continue to review the potential need for adjustments to the salary matrix throughout the biennium.
The SC encouraged the synod leadership to explore alternate funding models for capital projects to enable projects currently under consideration to move forward more quickly. Luther Preparatory School, Watertown, Wis., and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis., were encouraged to determine the scope of planned projects and to begin efforts to seek financial support for those projects once the scope is determined. The SC authorized the establishment of a Capital Projects Fund to support current and future capital projects of the synod.
The SC made the following appointments or reappointments:
- WELS Foundation board: Mr. Scott Neitzel, Mr. John Pahmeier, Mr. David Wendland, Mr. James Brenn
- WELS Church Extension Fund board: Mr. Joel Kock
- WELS Retirement Commission: Mr. James Hahm, Mr. Thomas Medema
- WELS VEBA Commission: Mr. Robert Bullens, Mr. Kyle Koltz, Mr. Daniel Markgraf, Rev. Joel Sauer
- Northwestern Publishing House board: Rev. Justin Dauck
- Accounting Oversight Committee: Mr. William Schultz
- Advisory member of the SC: Mr. Jim Rademan, associate coordinator of Congregational Services
Serving with you in Christ,
WELS President Mark Schroeder