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A TALK WITH THE TREASURER ON CHURCH FINANCES

From the November 2010 issue of The Christian Science Journal


At Annual Meeting 2010, The Mother Church was reported to have funds on hand of around $450 million, that last year's expenditures were $102 million, and that the Church has no indebtedness. In a recent conversation with Church Treasurer the Journal's Warren Bolon noted that while members saw a financial picture that's consistent with recent previous years, some might be thinking that the Church is wealthy and does not need ongoing contributions. Their discussion began with the question: What is the Church's financial picture?

Ned Odegaard: The Church's current financial position is one of stability and strength, and that's something to be very grateful for. I think the underlying questions here are: What's an appropriate level of funds for the Church? And, is the current level beyond what's appropriate?

From my perspective, the appropriate level of funds has to do with a basic financial model for the Church that's probably similar to what most of us face as individuals. First, we need income to meet our level of spending. So we're very aware of the relationship between what comes in and what goes out. And second, obviously, if more or less is coming in than is going out, then our savings rate is going up or down.

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