|Dear Members and Friends of St. John’s UU Church,|
At Rev. Mitra’s invitation, I am writing to update the congregation on how my role has changed during the pandemic.
The pandemic has certainly changed the way the work of the office is handled. I work two days per week from church and two days per week from home. It definitely has been a learning curve for me to adjust to a strictly “technology”-based day-to-day operation, however, my basic responsibilities of keeping the church “open for business” have not changed. I am still handling all the account receivables and account payables – however, keeping track of the account receivables has changed as we added an online payment option through Vanco which takes quite a bit more tracking. Jim McDonough and I have worked through numerous ways of entering this data into our database so that the monthly bank reconciliation matches the deposit information from Vanco (for GIVE+). It took several attempts, but we eventually learned the best way to do it. In addition to Vanco, we offer direct deposit, PayPal, American Express, grant/retirement fund payments plus the usual checks received in the mail. As you can see, there are numerous payment options, and each requires different handling to accurately record the information in our database, so this keeps me busy.
As mentioned, I am still responsible for making sure our bills are paid and the church keeps going despite the closure. I prepare the RFFs (Request for Funds) for the standard monthly bills (utilities, phone, Internet, health insurance, retirement funds, etc.) and those RFFs are then emailed to Linda Heath, our finance director, to approve for payment. Once approved, the RFFs are either paid by check or direct deposit. Naturally, there are other expenses and those RFFs are also submitted via email for approval and payment.
I worked with Linda on gathering all the information needed to apply for the Payroll Protection Plan grant, which the church did receive. The information needed was extensive and I applaud the work Linda did to secure this grant.
Once a month, I gather the timesheets for all employees and make sure payroll is accurate before I submit it. I then enter this payroll information into our database so that all earnings are recorded and posted. Taxes also need to be calculated and entered to balance everything out in accordance with Paychex’s (our payroll company) records.
Monitoring emails and voicemails are also handled both in the office and from home. I am constantly checking emails for any requests from staff, congregants, Rev. Mitra or the board for any information they may require. Voicemails also show up in my email account so I am able to answer any calls from home when I’m not in the office.
I work to update St. John’s People Book once or twice per year and will have the new one ready to share this week.
The cookbook for the Partner Church Soup & Bread program is a large undertaking. I am gathering recipes from congregants, staff, friends, and extended family members (my own sisters were very quick to answer my call for recipes!). I am currently working on entering all the recipes that were submitted so that we can begin the task of printing and putting things in order. We are still looking for any recipes (especially for bread) that you would like to submit but time is getting limited. Our goal is to get this booklet created in time for people to purchase them as Christmas gifts.
I look forward to the day when we can safely reopen our church and get back to whatever our new normal will look like.
|A note of appreciation about Nancy |
Nancy Greenlee has been the front door of St. John’s for the nearly eight years she has been with us. In that time, she has accomplished many tasks. I have had the pleasure of working with her in my capacity as treasurer: We have been in it together since our interim minister, Rev. Carroll, left us a brand-new accounting system called PowerChurch that has required significant effort to make work properly.
Together we provide what otherwise would be an expensive service for the church. We have learned the system together and I have greatly appreciated her partnership. She enters all of the individual income and expense items with almost no errors. I find this amazing and could never do it that well. I could never properly do the job Nancy does with regard to the church books but she has learned the software system to the point where she could do my job. Of course, separation of duties requires two and more people to ensure safety. Nancy is a key player in the smooth running of the church. I feel that we are lucky to have her.
— Jim McDonough