Finances

FINANCES
I. General Financial & Stewardship Principles
II. Tithe – Criteria For Designating
III. Endowment Fund
IV. Memorial Fund

I. GENERAL FINANCIAL & STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLES

1. This ministry (Zion Lutheran Church & School) belongs to God.

2. We consider the resources given to us as a sacred trust from God.

3. We will strive to use the resources given to us by God for the advancement of His Kingdom and the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

4. We believe the way an organization handles its stewardship, financial and property gifts, is a reflection of its integrity in every area.

5. We will make our resource decisions with prayerful, thoughtful deliberation and Biblical stewardship principles.

6. The people of God should supply the resources of God to feed the ministry of God.

7. Some resources given to Zion may not be accepted because of the spirit or the manner in which they were given. (Personal glory, a person under church discipline, an attempt to “buy off the church”, money given for projects not in line with our plans or goals).

8. The Budget:

     a. Sets direction & priorities for ministries.

     b. Serves as a planning tool.

     c. Is a spending guide for boards.

     c. Zion’s major sources of income are: Sunday offerings (General, Missions, Building), Approved Memorials, ZECC Education Fees, Rental property, Miscellaneous Fees (Weddings, Usage fees, Youth/School events, etc.).The three offering envelope categories will be maintained for congregational awareness of these specific areas (General, Missions, and Building).We will not sell, rent or give out our mailing list to any individual, organization or group without Council approval.“Ministry” is any activity which advances Zion Lutheran Church’s mission statement (To be an outreach center for Jesus Christ).As part of our ministry, “Mission” items are any activities which meet the following criteria:Generally carried out away from Zion Lutheran Church.Normally reach out to people other than Zion members.Projects must fit within the general ministry direction of ZLC. Projects that are Lutheran in nature are preferred.
(December 20, 2005)

II. TITHE – CRITERIA FOR DESIGNATING

Introduction Zion will tithe ten percent (10%) of income received from General, Building, ZECC, Other, Undesignated Memorials over $1,000 & any Clean-up donations. If we have more “mission” income than is projected the Board of Elders will determine where those funds will go. We operate on the concept of faith based income but fixed based expenses. Our budget is BOTH a maximum of what can be spent AND a suggested guide to what may be spent.

1. Synod/District Support [50% of tithe]
This is a commitment on Zion’s part. Because we treat synod/district support as a commitment we generally budget a lower amount than actually projected to be sure we can cover our pledge to Synod/District. This approach assumes we will send in our pledge plus any extra. If we have less “mission” income than is anticipated/projected we will make up the “short fall” out of our general funds.

2. Parochial Grade School And High School Support [up to 40% of tithe]
Parochial tuition support will be distributed to member families who have their children enrolled in an LCMS, WELS or other recognized Lutheran grade or high school.
Zion will support our member families at a rate of:
[1] 30% of the annual student tuition for LCMS schools
[2] 20% for WELS or other recognized Lutheran schools
Example:
Suzy Smith is enrolled at Our Savior Lutheran School, Excelsior, MN. Tuition for Suzy is $1,000. Zion will send 30% ($300) to Our Savior School to be credited toward Suzy’s tuition.

Member families must submit their request for tuition support to the church office by July 1st of each year desiring assistance.

Tuition support will be granted as long as the funding lasts. If there are more requests from member families than funds are available tuition support will be granted on a basis of first request in - first scholarship granted.

3. Special Missions [between 10% and 50% of tithe]
Mission support desired by Zion but not included under Synod/District will be recommended by the Board of Elders. Priority will be given to any contracted mission support (i.e. TIM missionaries Jack & Cathy Carlos along with Coral Rose).
(Council approved - November 15, 2011)

 III. ENDOWMENT FUND
Zion’s Endowment Fund was established in 1991. This fund is made up of financial gifts given by many different people over the years. It continues to grow and help people and ministries share the love of Jesus. Since any gift received is never spent (only the accumulated interest) donated dollars have been able to be shared over and over with a variety of Christian ministries and people.
Several of the more recent ministries and people (August 2013) who have received funds from the Endowment Fund are:

  • Special Projects: Lutheran Braille Workers (special paper), VBS, After School at Zion (Alice Smith Elementary School kids)
  • Student Scholarships: Kevin Koester (pastoral studies at Concordia University, St. Paul), Lydia Kan (Senior at Bethel University), Dan Schultz (Pastoral studies at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO), Holly Schumacher (Teaching degree from Concordia University, St. Paul)
  • Staff development: Ruth Gebres (ZECC teacher)
  • Youth activities: (6 High School youth attended a national Lutheran Youth Training event in San Antonio, TX)

Easy ways you can include the Zion Endowment Fund in your financial plans: Your Will, “Payable on Death” (POD account), Cash and Securities, Real Estate, Life Insurance, Charitable Gift Annuity, Trust, Small bequests are welcome.

IV. MEMORIAL FUND
The congregationally elected Memorial Committee maintains a list of needed items/projects which would benefit the mission and ministry of Zion Lutheran Church and Zion Early Childhood Center but which are not normally included in our regular budget. The memorial list is reviewed by the Council for approval of all additions and/or deletions to the list. Memorials are meant to be above and beyond your regular tithe or offering. They should not take away from your regular financial support of Christ’s Church. The most current approved memorial list is located at the Information Center.
Since its inception in 2005 the fund has purchased or funded 92 different items or projects with a combined value of $159,816 dollars. Some of the 92 items include: new hymnals, new Bibles for pews, music stands, wireless microphone sets, music bar chimes, computer replacement for balcony, ZECC trike bikes, Information Center counter, hand bells refurbishing, LCMS wall cross for upper gathering area and many more items and projects. (December 31, 2012)