Archdiocesan Council Adopts Balanced Budget for 2019
At its October 19, 2018 meeting the Archdiocesan Council overwhelmingly adopted a balanced budget for 2019. The budget had previously been reviewed and recommended for adoption by both the Executive Committee and the Finance Committee of the Archdiocesan Council. The budget was reviewed in detail and significant points were discussed as described below.
- The Total Commitment revenue from parishes will remain the same for the second year in a row with both 2019 and 2018 Total Commitment revenue being held to the 2017 amount.
- All changes to the budget that were passed by the Clergy Laity Congress in July are included in this budget.
- The amount budgeted for the Ecumenical Patriarchate has been increased to gradually restore prior cuts.
- Required Archdiocese payments to the pension plan are up to date and the Archdiocese has budgeted an additional payment of $500,000 to be made to the pension plan in 2019. It was noted that $1 million will be included as an additional payment to the pension plan when the 2020 budget is prepared.
- A line item for unresolved/unpaid pre-2018 obligations is still included in the budget.
- The budget retains a General and Legal Contingency of $1 million to ensure that unanticipated expenses to that level do not cause a budget deficit.
The departmental / ministry budgets were reviewed with each department/ministry director and their input was taken into account in determining the budget amounts.
Members of the Finance Budget Sub-committee were present via conference calls for most of the Departmental/Ministry meetings.
Significant progress on the Archdiocese’s financial condition was also reported when discussing the budget. With funding received from Alma Bank and the difficult and painful steps taken to eliminate the 2017 structural deficit of the Archdiocese, a number of successes were reported. The efforts to achieve those successes were overseen by the Executive Committee and His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, and implemented by His Grace Bishop Andonios, the Chief Financial Officer, Fr. Soterios Baroody, and the Officers and staff of the Archdiocese. Those successes include:
- All restricted accounts that were required be restored, were restored.
- Amounts due to the St. Nicholas Church and National Shrine account were returned and with full interest paid. The voluntary contribution of $681,000 to St. Nicholas Church and National Shrine was paid in 2018.
- All amounts due Metropolises were paid in full.
- All amounts due Hellenic College/ Holy Cross were brought up to date.
- All past due amounts to the pension plan were paid.
- Scheduled debt repayments of the amounts borrowed from Alma Bank are being made.
The Archdiocesan staff committed to ensuring that the adopted budget is followed and the Officers, Finance Committee, and Audit Committee provided assurance that they will be diligently carrying out their oversight responsibilities regarding the budget, the financial statements and the internal control procedures of the Archdiocese.