Our Administrative and Financial Services team manage finance (including payroll), personal benefits, pensions, investments, property management, corporate administration, bequests and other legal affairs for The Free Methodist Church in Canada. The team works behind the scenes to help our local churches thrive in ministry while ensuring compliance with Canadian legal obligations, accountability, and transparency.
One year ago, when the pandemic began, the team immediately focused on ensuring staff had what they needed to work remotely from home (laptops and VPN connections) and creating a safe schedule for those that needed to work from the ministry centre to ensure that payroll, pensions, church loans, and mortgages were all processed on time. Three to four months into the pandemic, giving to core dropped, but thankfully the FMCiC has reserves (three to six months of operating expenses set aside) for this type of situation which meant payroll and all financial commitments were met.
When the government introduced the 10% wage subsidy, all FMCiC churches qualified. Then the government introduced the 75% wage subsidy, but unfortunately because FMCiC churches use a central payroll service (the ministry centre), they don’t have their own payroll number which was needed to apply for the subsidy, so the Administrative and Financial Services team couldn’t apply on their behalf. A handful of churches reached out to the ministry centre and the team responded by offering a temporary reprieve in the pension levy and mortgage/loan payments to help them navigate through the financial impact of the pandemic.
The good news is there have been some savings which have helped the FMCiC’s overall financial picture. Expenses have been lower with no in-person meetings (BOA and MEGAP) or travel expenses for the National Leadership team. Many churches were able to continue giving to core and some were able to give above what they normally give annually. The Administrative and Financial Services team is thankful for the churches who were able to give. It is meaningful and helpful. The team believes that God provided just what was needed at the right time for the FMCiC. For churches who are struggling financially, it is important that they know that they are not alone. The Administrative and Financial Services team, Sandy Crozier, Stewardship Development Director, Marc McAlister, Director of Leadership Development, and the Regional Coaches are all available to help and support.
The Administrative and Financial Services team is busy compiling 2020 year end numbers and will make them available shortly. This year, giving to core is below budget, but the team is quick to point out that one month doesn’t make a year. While it has been a challenging and stressful year for the Administrative and Financial Services team, they believe that God provided just what was needed at the right time for the FMCiC and that He will continue to do so.
By Alison McKinnon
FMCiC Content Developer