MCC Moderator Reviews Fellowship Budget and Staffing

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Letter from the MCC Governing Board

4 October 2019

Dear Friends:

The Governing Board and Moderator have spent the first two months of our time together in assessing and evaluating the current realities of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC). As with our local churches, it is both healthy and challenging to recognize areas where we are struggling, balanced with the things we are doing well. We ask you to pray with us over the next few months as we strive to make MCC function in ways that best meet the needs of our churches and leaders, while being fiscally responsible.

As you have just learned from our Moderator (in the video above), we have agreed to a staffing budget of 60% of income going forward. As you can imagine, this is not a decision that we have come to lightly. Some current positions will come to an end, some will be merged, and some will remain unchanged. Staff salaries will be decreased, as we move to meet our budgetary goal. The Moderator’s salary is already lower than that of previous post-holders. In early October, the Moderator and a member of the Governing Board will meet with each staff person individually. Where possible, we will offer a position in the new structure. We value our staff, their commitment, and their expertise. If no new position is being offered, or the offer of a position is declined, then an end date for employment will be determined. If a staff person declines the position offered, it will then be advertised publicly. New terms and conditions for positions will begin on 1 November 2019. There may be a time of overlap between the two structures, as staff move from one position to another. We will let you know the details of the new structure and staffing, once we have made the majority of the appointments.

As Rev. Elder Eggleston explained in the video, this is a pivotal time in MCC. We need to address our current financial situation and be realistic about what we can achieve with our current income. We are mindful of Jesus’ words about being good stewards and living within our means: “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? (Luke 14:28)

These decisions are difficult to make and are stressful for staff members and their families. We give thanks to the staff for all that they have done and are doing to serve you, even as we go through this challenging time.

As we go forward together as a global Fellowship, it is heartening to see that many individuals are already increasing their giving to MCC. This is a part that you can play in building our future, wherever you are. As we celebrate MCC’s 51st Anniversary, we encourage you to support Fellowship Sunday. Your generosity will help MCC continue its transforming ministry for the next 50 years.

Thank you for your encouragement, support and prayers.

Blessings,

Rev. Elder Diane Fisher, Clerk
James Chavis
Clare Coughlin
Mark Godette
Chad Hobbs

Rev. Alberto Nájera
Rev. Paul Whiting
Rev. Marie Alford Harkey

Rev. Elder Cecilia Eggleston, Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches

Questions and Answers

Below are some questions that you may have and answers:

Why are you making these changes to MCC’s staffing?
Changes to the staffing structure are necessary for financial sustainability according to MCC’s income, and to meet the needs of MCC globally in a rapidly changing world.

Why have you chosen 60% of total income as the staffing budget?
According to Susan Beaumont, church staffing consultant, the average mainline Protestant church spends 50% of its operating budget on payroll related expenses. In her practice [with large–mostly progressive] congregations, the number more typically approaches 60%. Maintaining our staffing at this level means that MCC is able to keep enough staff to do the work that will best support our local congregations and leaders. Since General Conference, giving to MCC has started to increase. If our income continues to grow and staffing costs do not increase, then the percent of the budget for staffing costs will lessen as part of the overall budget. This also means that there will be more budget available for programming and supporting local churches.

What is our current staffing budget as a percent of income?
It is 79%, which is unsustainable.

What will happen to the current staff?
Wherever possible, we want to keep our current staff. They are committed, hardworking, and very knowledgeable. Some positions will be terminated, other positions will be merged. It is not possible to keep everyone. Staff members may also choose not to accept a position that is offered. MCC will do all we can to assist each staff person leaving to the best of our ability. We have arranged for a pastoral support person to be available to our staff if requested. Trinet, our US based payroll provider, will also provide assistance.

When will the changes take place?
The Moderator and a member of the Governing Board will meet with each staff person individually to discuss their position in early October. Where possible, new staff positions will start on 1 November 2019. Where a position is being terminated, or a staff person does not accept the position that they are being offered, we will work with the individual to determine a leaving date for employment and the transition of responsibilities.

Who decides which staff will be offered a position?
The Moderator is Chief of Staff and ultimately makes the decisions about staffing. She held meetings with every member of staff individually when she first came into post and every person also completed a form, outlining the duties of their current roles, their particular passions in ministry, and the areas of work that they found least fulfilling. The Moderator and a small team from the Governing Board have used this information to guide them in deciding which staff would be suited to the new structure.

Will this mean that that there will be less support offered to local churches and church leaders?
In the short term, as the changes take effect and staff settle into their roles, there may be a slower response to requests for support and MCC staff may not be able to fulfill every request. In the longer term, the reduction in the staffing budget will mean more budget for programming, which will increase the support offered to local churches. We will actively look for ways to work in partnership with network leaders and local churches to share resources and expertise.

Should I still contact the staff person that I am currently working with?
Yes, absolutely. If there is going to be a change, we will let you know.

How will I know who to contact in the future?
Once we have filled the majority of the staff positions, we will inform everyone via email. Information will also be posted on the MCC website.

Questions?
Contact the Governing Board: [email protected]