The Synodical Council (SC) met on Nov. 2-3, its first meeting since the synod convention last summer.
Year of Jubilee offering
The Synodical Council decided that all offerings received for the synod’s debt in the Year of Jubilee offering will be used toward the principal of the debt, which will reduce the length of time for repayment. This is similar to what happens when you make additional principal payments on your home: your payments don’t decrease, but the length of time before your home is paid off is shortened. We’re pleased that offerings have already begun to arrive for this effort, even though it does not officially begin until next summer.
Other actions of the SC
- Established a compensation committee to review synodical salaries.
- Approved a proposal to conduct an independent study of our program for health care coverage.
- Released funds for the MLC chapel project.
- Combined and restructured the synod’s capital debt.
- Approved a revised “Support Forecast” based on indications of increased offerings and improving financial conditions.
SC okays synod debt consolidation
At the Synodical Council meeting Nov. 2-3 in Milwaukee, Wis., a proposal was approved to consolidate the synod’s four debts, totaling $22.4 million, into one single debt.
The move helps reduce confusion over the variety of interest rates and a feeling of inequity—a feeling among some that the Board for Ministerial Education was carrying a disproportionate share, $15.1 million, of the debt load. Now the entire debt will be consolidated into one line item in the synod’s general operating budget.
Even though all but $7 million of the debt is from internal borrowing from synod special funds, the loans must be paid back to honor donor intent.
The four debts are as follows:
- $7.3 million—for costs associated with the amalgamation of Dr. Martin Luther College and Northwestern College, and Martin Luther Prep School and Northwestern Prep in 1995.
- $7.3 million—for operational borrowing for 2001-03.
- $6.9 million—for the boiler house at Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minn., and the science wing at Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, Mich.
- $900,000—for a dormitory at Luther Preparatory School in Watertown, Wis.
The consolidated debt will be repaid over 10 years at four percent interest. The annual payment will be $2.7 million, an amount which will result in $550,000 in savings for the 2008-09 fiscal year budget.http://www.wels newsletter