Although Cooperative Program (CP) receipts were slightly behind budget through the end of October, Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) officials remain confident that the convention will meet or exceed its 2017 budget.
Through Oct. 31, CP receipts totaled more than $23.8 million, which is nearly 5 percent behind the overall $30.375 million budget for 2017. However, those numbers are up more than 1 percent when compared to the same period a year ago.
“We are almost 5 percent behind budget but as I’ve been telling you all year, the December effect is coming,” said Beverly Volz, who serves as BSC director of accounting services.
Volz shared the financial report during a regularly scheduled meeting of the Executive Committee on Monday, Nov. 6 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. The committee meeting was held in conjunction with the state convention’s annual meeting.
The “December effect” Volz referenced includes five Sundays on the December 2017 calendar, which gives churches an extra Sunday at the end of the year to receive offerings and forward Cooperative Program receipts to the state convention. Plus, charitable giving typically increases in December as individuals make year-end financial donations.
Additionally, BSC bylaws allow the convention to receive end-of-year CP receipts for five business days following the final Sunday of the year.
With Dec. 31 falling on a Sunday and New Year’s Day falling on a Monday, the convention will not close the books on 2017 until Jan. 8, 2018, Volz said.
“It gives us an extra long time for churches to get their receipts in,” Volz said. “Given the fact that we are ahead year-over-year by over 1 percent, we feel good that we will meet the budget.
“We are very optimistic.”
Volz also reported that N.C. Baptists have given more than $11.1 million to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for international missions and more than $6 million to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American missions through Oct. 31. Those figures are up more than 6 percent and 3 percent, respectively, through the same time period in 2016.
In addition, N.C. Baptists have given more than $1.5 million to date to the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO), which supports a variety of ministries, including disaster relief, church planting, mission camps, associational projects and more.
Overall, NCMO gifts are up nearly 12 percent through the same time period as 2016.
“We are trending upward in all of our major offerings,” Volz said.
Brian Davis, BSC associate executive director-treasurer, said the increase in NCMO support shows that churches understand the value of the offering.
“This year, we’ve had multiple major disasters, and the temptation is for churches to give more to designated offerings,” Davis said. “Sometimes, that hurts NCMO, but that hasn’t been the case this year. I believe that our churches are understanding the value of the North Carolina Missions Offering and the value of special offerings when catastrophes happen, as well.”
Robert Simons, president of Baptists on Mission, also known as N.C. Baptist Men, reported to the committee that disaster relief volunteers are serving in four counties in western North Carolina that were recently impacted by tornados. Simons also said that volunteers continue to serve in areas of Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico that were impacted by hurricanes in recent months.
Volunteers are also needed to assist with the long-term relief efforts in eastern North Carolina, as a result of last year’s Hurricane Matthew, Simons said.
The Executive Committee also recognized outgoing board members David Duarte, Mike Moore, Ed Rose and David Spray.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the full BSC Board of Directors is scheduled for Jan. 29-30 at Caraway Conference Center and Camp near Asheboro.