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Letter to the Voter’s Assembly:
For the Grace of God, we have gathered for nearly 60 years here in worship and service to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Fifty-three of these years we were blessed to have a school and we are thankful to God for this.
Thankful for the students He brought to us, the staff and support who have come together to train His Will, Way and Word. Jesus, Son of God, truly is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
As a congregation, we have come to understand the challenges, trials, and costs to operate such an endeavor.
As many schools in the Lutheran Church, we have discovered these challenges; particularly, the cost and funding of operations that have become more acute than in previous years
Economic factors have grown in scope and complexity over the years. The Council has fought to address and meet these challenges while our congregation has become more inventive in bridging the gaps.
It has become apparent that we are at a decision point, a crossroad that has been on the horizon for some years.
The gap between our income and obligations has continued to increase relative to our cash flow. The budget deficit percentage of income has grown from a manageable 15-25% to nearly 50%.
Several tipping points have been met. We have been unable to pay our debts. Many of these are not merely past due, but critically delinquent to the point of many near shut off of utilities and probable suspension of Employee Retirement and Disability benefits. There have been instances where we have not met the full amount of payroll with some employees being delayed in receiving their pay on time. We have become 60 days past due on our interest-only mortgage at a time when we are being pressured to resume adding to the principle to these payments.
The council has been encouraged and thankful for the enthusiasm, efforts and many sacrifices of all who have been involved in the continuing of our school. The fundraising and other sacrifices have allowed us to continue these past years, and what a blessing that has been.
The hard truth is that we, the church council does not anticipate our tithing and contributions in the near future to meet the expected obligations of paying for a school. We have been unable to find any other acceptable forms of income to support this as well. Therefore, it is our recommendation that the school will cease operation with the conclusion of this school year in June 2017.
This is not the end for us, but a new beginning. Our future life as a Body of Christ, goals and ministry together will begin to assemble with the leadership of our interim Pastor. The revision of our mission, focus of our ministry, our vision and how to meet and establish these goals will be completed.
God bless you all and may He continue to bless the ministry of Peace Lutheran Church.