As has become our custom, the financial statements of the United Church of God are printed in the first issue of United News of the new calendar year after they have been presented to and accepted by the Council of Elders.
The Church’s fiscal year ended on June 30, 2019. In accordance with our bylaws, an external audit of our financial statements, procedures and operations is performed each year, usually during August. The final report is presented to the Council of Elders at its December meeting, then made public in the church’s newspaper.
This year, the Ohio-based public accounting firm of Clark, Schaefer and Hackett was again engaged to perform the audit. The full audit report is presented in this issue for your review.
As we are now six months into the Church’s current fiscal year, it may be interesting to you to review some highlights of our past and current fiscal year.
First, let me report that the Church’s financial condition continues to be very strong, for which we are thankful to God and to the members, donors, coworkers and others who faithfully support His Work.
Following are a few items and statistics of interest, with page reference number to the attached financial statements, as you review them:
• Unqualified Opinion: On pages 1 and 2 of the audit report, the external accounting firm states its opinion that the financial statements and information “present fairly the financial position of [the Church] at June 30, 2019.”
• Cash and Restricted Fund Balances: On page 3, the Statement of Financial Position, otherwise known as the “Balance Sheet,” discloses our asset and liability balances at year-end. Cash includes both general donations and restricted donations. Donor-designated contributions, such as Festival Fund, Assistance Fund, Good Works, Building Fund and others are separately recorded and accounted for in our books. Donations made with specific designations are used only for those purposes. Our net assets at June 30 exceed $12.6 million.
• Income: The Statement of Activities, otherwise known as the “Income Statement,” provides an overview of income and expenses by category for the fiscal year. The Church’s overall “income,” which primarily consists of tithes, Holy Day offerings and other offerings of members and others remained consistent, at over $19 million, for the last two fiscal years. As of the date of this writing, donations for the first six months of this fiscal year are running at about the same level as last year.
• Donors and Coworkers: At June 30, the total number of donors and coworkers (that is, non-members who make unrestricted donations to the Church) exceeded 13,500 individuals and/or families.
• Assistance to the needy (third tithe assistance): On the Schedule of Functional Expense you will note that in fiscal 2019, in recognition of its responsibility to help those with long or short-term financial needs, the Church provided over $1.1 million in discretionary assistance. By comparison, about $350,000 was donated to the Assistance Fund during the year.
• International subsidy: Recognizing our commitment to members outside the United States, the Church provides regular subsidies to several international areas, including congregations in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Southeast Asia, Mexico, South America and others. The total amount of such international assistance in fiscal 2019 exceeded $1.5 million, which does not include the cost of printing and postage and shipping of foreign language magazines and booklets.
• Church buildings: During the fiscal year, the Church completed the construction and equipping of the Video Recording Studio, which was financed wholly through the contributions of church members and other donors. A church building in Columbus, Ohio was purchased during the year, financed through the local church building fund with mortgages provided by a few church members.
• Expenses: While the Income Statement shows overall expenses, if you are interested in more detail on how money was spent, please review the Schedule of Functional Expenses on pages 12 and 13.
As you can see, God continues to provide what the Church needs to accomplish its commission of preaching the gospel and caring for the members of the Church around the world. We are grateful to Him, and to the members, coworkers and donors who faithfully support the Work. May we all continually seek God’s will and be judicious in performing it.
As always, if you have any questions about the finances of the Church or anything in the attached financial statements, please feel free to contact me at any time.