Riverview Church

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Originally posted 31st August 2017

Letter to the Riverview Church Family – Part 4

Over the course of the past four and a half months, the regular weekend giving to both Riverview Church and Riverview Trust has increased substantially and more importantly, has been sustained. This is reflected in the difference between first quarter and second quarter giving.

The figures below indicate the giving for each quarter relative to the budgeted income.

  Q1 Q2
Church -$293,149
under budget
$243,717
over budget
Trust -$137,103
under budget
$264,206
over budget

In addition to this we have also reduced our operating expenses by 27% which includes an 18% reduction in staffing costs.

This has created margin and led to a stronger cash position as reflected in the difference between the opening bank balances at 1st of May and 31st of July.

  Church Trust
1 May 2017 $352,331 $41,803
31 July 2017 $636,019 $626,214
Increased by $283,688 $584,411

The improvement in the cash positon and the income / expense portion of the budget means that we have been able to address the short-term cash-flow problem, build up reserves and position ourselves to renegotiate the loan arrangement with the bank.

We have a five year loan facility for $7.6 million dollars that will put pressure on the cash flow in the medium term i.e. 2018 / 2019. However, we have just completed a cash flow forecast for 2018 and if giving remains at current levels we will be able to manage the increase in the loan repayments next year and still finish the year with almost $600k in the bank. That said though, we plan to approach the bank later in the year to renegotiate the loan arrangement to see if we can get a better and more manageable deal.

Senior Minister Selection Process

The Senior Minister Selection Process began at the start of August and is still currently underway.

During the course of the process, an option did emerge as a possible solution for the future leadership of the church and a course of action was initiated to pursue that particular option. That option was to join our faith community to Kingdomcity church.

However, in the course of pursuing this option, it became apparent that not all the necessary steps in the process were being adequately followed and not all the relevant issues relating to that option were being considered. This was identified by the Ex-Officio advisors who were brought in to provide governance and business expertise to the Board and help guide the Board in its decision-making. When the Board was made aware of the need to revisit and improve the selection process, steps were immediately taken to do so.

This has highlighted the value of having people with strong governance experience and expertise advising the Board and has emphasised the need for us as a church to move more quickly toward strengthening the current Board by adding, not merely more Ex-Officio Advisors, but actual voting Board Members who possess relevant governance experience and expertise.

The Board met on Wednesday the 23rd of August and has initiated the necessary steps to appoint new Board Members with relevant expertise and experience as a matter of urgent priority.

A thorough review of the governance structures and processes was conducted by an external, independent consultant and completed last month. A report was generated and presented to the Board at the July meeting with recommendations for both short-term and long-term changes to improve the church’s governance. These recommendations will now be implemented.

Aaron Gregory, who has served as Chairman of the Board for the past six months, will be taking a leave of absence from the Board for personal reasons. He will remain a board member for the time being but will step away from Board duties. He will be replaced as Chairman by John Sharpe until the next Annual General Meeting.

A new email address has been created for correspondence with the Board so any thoughts or questions for the Board can be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Finally, we want to re-emphasise that the Senior Minister Selection Process is continuing. The Board has determined that we are no longer pursuing merger options with other churches. The Kingdomcity leaders are aware of this and are supportive of the Board’s decision. They have been and always will be good friends of this church and have been incredibly gracious and understanding having been brought into our process. On behalf of the Board and staff team we want to honour them and their leadership for the way they have responded to this decision.

We are asking all of you to keep praying for this process and continue to love and encourage one another as we endeavor to fulfil our mission to serve the people of Perth in Jesus name.

 

For those who came in late, the details of what has happened previously can be found here.