The council is now fully immersed in the work before us. First and foremost, the council is completing necessary tasks to keep PYM on-course for the current year, including authorizing disbursement of additional funds for programming after learning that PYM is clearly on-track in restoring its financial health.
The council’s Audit Subcommittee met with PYM’s auditors on January 13 and accepted an unqualified or “clean” audit of the FY 2015 financials. (In the opinion of the auditors the books and records of PYM fairly and accurately reflect the financial activity and current status of PYM.)1
With the audit complete, PYM transferred the year-end cash surplus that Financial Stewardship had authorized in September in the amount of $225,000 to replenishing PYM reserves (savings in the event of a future financial downturn), and the council experienced great joy in January when we realized we could responsibly authorize the General Secretary’s request to fund a $75,000 Strategic Project Reserve to support program and ministry from available cash at the start of the new fiscal year (FY 2016) to apply towards programing for the current fiscal year. We are hopeful that this reserve will allow PYM to engage in a little bit more of the tested leadings shared by our members and that members of PYM will be pleased to see their financial gifts to PYM making a difference in what we can collectively fund and do as PYM!
We are also generating initial policies and job descriptions that will serve PYM going forward. AC sprints have also written a newly approved job description for the PYM Treasurer and drafted a Conflict of Interest Policy for members of all PYM councils.
At the suggestion of several council members we formed a sprint which, with the support of the General Secretary, “mapped” all the responsibilities assigned to the council, with pertinent deadlines for tasks we need to complete throughout the year. To this the sprint added suggested assignments and deadlines for our own educational work. This is work between now and the end of the fiscal year on September 30, to deeply immerse ourselves in each of the areas assigned and consider how tasks in these areas can be performed most effectively to achieve the strongest outcomes for PYM in future years. Our goal is to create the structures we need for smooth, efficient and transparent functioning going forward. We are now engaged in dividing ourselves into subcommittees and sprints based on what we learned from reviewing the map, plus each member’s strengths and leadings, to dive deeply into the overarching categories of finance, governance, property and communications. We are grateful for the work of the mapping sprint which has helped us organize our work. The mapping has proved so useful that QLC is also now mapping its work.
Looking forward, we expect our newly forming subcommittees and sprint to soon begin work on the FY 2017 budget while continuing to explore, learn about and meet with other PYM groups (for example the Interim Granting Committee, the Arch Street Meeting House Preservation Trust and the Trustees of Burlington Meeting House). These meetings will help us discern how the work of these groups can best be supported with as little interruption as possible from the council, while at the same time assuring that the council has an accurate and current understanding of the state of affairs of the responsibilities of each group, and can see what action may be required by the council, and when.
As I submit this update I feel tremendous gratitude for the gifts and labors of each member of the council and PYM staff. Although we are still a new group, each person’s gifts and leadings are revealed more deeply each time we meet, speak on the phone, or exchange emails. It is becoming clearer each day how blessed we are with members and staff who bring great skill, understanding, and spiritual depth to our shared work, and who are tireless in their service to and passion for PYM.
Bruce Haine, Clerk of the Administrative Council
- The audit is now available on the Finance Section of the PYM website.