Randy Wiebe, Mennonite Church Canada’s CFO, reported to delegates at Assembly 2012 that while total revenues increased by $55,000 over the previous year, the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2012 still ended with a $129,000 deficit. Wiebe showed the continuing downward trend since 2004, and warned that increasing or even maintaining current programming is not possible over the long term.
Wiebe thanked the body for meeting, by half, a challenge issued at assembly 2011 to increase giving over the previous year by $150,000, resulting in $75,000 in increased giving. Leadership presented a motion to change the fiscal-year-end date from Jan. 31 to Sept. 30. In a typical year, 40 percent of annual revenue arrives in the final quarter of the year—from Oct. through Dec. However, the national church also experiences atypical years when the final quarter does not meet expectations, leaving no time for corrective action, said Willard Metzger, executive director.
Delegate Peter Rempel raised a concern that the interim shorter fiscal year will end in a large deficit that will be carried forward. Wiebe responded that there will be a deficit in the short year, but the following longer fiscal year will balance things out.
Henry Paetkau asked how the delegate body will vote on an annual budget now that the national church will meet every two years. Metzger responded that the General Board will be responsible to present a two-year budget and will have greater responsibility for communicating to the delegate body in years when no assembly will be held. The proposed budget and the change to a Sept. 30 fiscal year-end date were both passed by delegates.