Last year, when I began as President Elect (BEFORE COVID-19), my goals were to increase engagement by learning more about what congregants want and need. The Board of Directors created five different Task Forces and these were to be my vehicle to determine many of the issues IHC is currently facing and to create our vision for our future and the strategy for getting there. You will hear more about the progress of these Task Forces in my upcoming posts, but we are especially interested in the recommendations from the Task Force evaluating our current Gift from the Heart giving model, as well as the Strategic Planning Task Force.
As you all know, in March we were faced with a pandemic. Our first concern was making sure our congregation was cared for and finding ways to stay connected with Shabbat services, programs and meetings. Once we quickly transformed into a virtual congregation, we began to focus on the financial reality of COVID-19. Critical decisions needed to made on a timely basis, such as the decision to close the ECC for the summer, which is a major source of income for IHC. Its closure, along with forecasts for reduced commitments due to job loss, possible furloughs and the postponement of our major fundraising events have impacted our financial well-being. To date, with the help of Clergy and Staff, we have done the hard job of reducing our budget by over $400,000, even as the crisis has called for increased pastoral needs. Of course, there are so many unknowns and we expect more cuts will have to be made.
Our current financial situation has forced me to pivot on my original priorities, as now ensuring the health and financial well-being of IHC is my number one priority. I know you share my love of this congregation and our community. I know I can count on all of you to support our leadership as we carve a path forward. There will be light at the end of the tunnel. Acts of kindness, compassion and generosity will get us there sooner.
In the coming weeks and months, we will continue to update you on our financial situation. We will be starting conversations and will continue asking you for your financial support so IHC can remain strong. Please remember how important IHC is to you and your family and this community and help us by contributing to our COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Some of you have already contributed and we thank you. In this difficult time please step up as you can, either by generously increasing your annual commitment this year and next year and/or making a meaningful donation to the COVID-19 Emergency Fund. If you would like to have a one on one conversation on how you can step up and become a sacred partner, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to talk to you.
As your new president, I promise to be transparent, honest, optimistic, and a good listener. I am here to serve you and my lifelong spiritual home.
President, IHC Board of Directors