By Gail Nishinaka, Treasurer
We hope that you are in good health while staying safe at home. We survived the eventful year of 2020 which took us down an unprecedented path of fear and uncertainty. Yes, life remains difficult for most of us as the coronavirus pandemic will still be present until life-saving drug vaccinations are safe and effective.
Our Centenary church finances this past year were also effected by this health crisis and its impact on the economy. Our church has been closed to live worship services since March when the governor imposed the stay safe-at-home orders for most people. We were unable to have our annual Arigato Bazaar and Golf Tournament to draw crowds of old timers and long-time supporters to gather and reunite in a festive atmosphere. And we lost a source of outside income from the use of the church facilities once the parking lot was closed due to lack of business.
Throughout these turbulent times, we have relied on the faithful to continue to support Centenary by your prayers and generous giving of pledges, offerings and to our Fall Fundraiser. The annual financial tables show that our actual income dropped dramatically from our budgeted figures in most areas. We were fortunate to have received monies from the government funded Payroll Protection Plan. However, we also had to transfer some of our savings and investments to cover the deficit due to the loss of revenue.
Our actual expenses were also reduced from the lack of church activity. However, some expenses were constant such as salaries and benefits, utilities, taxes and insurance. The UMC California-Pacific Conference assisted by not requiring the church to pay our apportionments in full this past year.
Looking forward to 2021 and Centenary’s 125th anniversary, there is a bright light in the face of darkness. In our common faith, we will survive this coronavirus pandemic. We hope and pray for everyone’s financial support to continue to increase so that we do not have to deplete our diminishing reserves during these trying and unprecedented times.
May the Grace of God shine upon you,
Centenary UMC Treasurer