Let the budget process begin! I have decided to use my remaining articles this year to give you all some “basic” insights into the church budget process. A budget cycle has four phases: (1) preparation and submission, (2) approval, (3) execution, and (4) evaluation. Currently the Stewardship & Finance Committee along with me are evaluating how we are doing with the current year’s budget as well as beginning to prepare next year’s budget. The 2019 Operational Budget will first be presented to the Administrative Board for their approval in November and then put to a vote of the membership early in December. One thing to keep in mind is that a budget is an estimate, where multiple assumptions are made with incomplete information. For example, we are now planning for 2019 and we still have more than one third of this year to go, and of course, there are many unknowns about next year as well. What will break down and need repair or replacement? Will this be a cold winter and will next summer be a really hot one? What will giving be like in 2019? Even though there is much unknown, we are meeting with the Staff and Ministry Chairs to get their input into what they will need to fund the ministry they wish to accomplish in the new year. Please pray for us all as we strive to follow God’s lead during this time and THANK YOU always for supporting the ministry work of this church.