When a dedicated group of individuals are brought together, each with specific areas of expertise, the result is well-thought-out advice that benefits all.
That is the foundation of our St. Francis Xavier Finance Council, led by Jessica Musshafen.
“Our Finance Council is comprised of five individuals with all different areas of financial expertise,” Jessica says. “For example, I’m a financial advisor, we have a real estate expert, and members experienced with large organizations. We all have different day jobs, but we all have certain areas of financial expertise.”
The Finance Council serves as a resource for Fr. O’Brien and our parish staff when there are decisions to be made for parish financial matters. The council itself has no decision-making authority but provides the information necessary when decisions are to be made.
The members of the Finance Council meet from four to five times a year, with more meetings taking place toward the end of the parish’s fiscal year. Their work includes preparing a proposed parish budget. However, if there is a special project to consider, additional meetings are scheduled.
Jessica prepares an agenda before each meeting. She consults with Fr. O’Brien and Deacon Randy to learn what they would like to discuss. Once she prepares the agenda, she sends it to the Finance Council members so they can perform any necessary research.
Fr. O’Brien and Deacon Randy regularly attend the meetings.
“Sometimes Father will include seminarians if they are available,” Jessica says. “He believes this is good experience for them as they prepare their futures as parish priests.”
Those serving on the Finance Council are practicing stewardship in giving of their time and talents. The council serves as a reminder of how we, as parishioners, can also practice stewardship.
“Each parishioner is called to discern their time, talents, and treasure,” Jessica says. “The Stewardship Renewal serves to help our council. It helps us gauge the growth of the parish, as well as predict what income we might receive through donations to the church. The Stewardship Renewal also helps us to determine how best the funds can be used to meet the needs of our parish. It helps us be aware of what is going on so we can help advise Father about these needs. The mission of the parish as a whole is to evangelize Payne County. The Finance Council assists with this mission by helping ensure that we are being stewards of the resources we have been given.”
Parishioners can join the Finance Council through several routes. Fr. O’Brien will ask a parishioner to take part, or names may be submitted to him through the Stewardship Renewal process.
“That’s an opportunity for anyone to raise their hand,” Jessica says.
Each member serves a three-year term. At the end of that term, Fr. O’Brien may appoint a member to a subsequent three-year term. Once a member serves two consecutive terms, he or she must step down.
As for ongoing projects, in addition to preparing the parish budget, the Finance Council has been working on the detailed process of razing the old St. Francis Xavier building. The process has involved meetings of not only the Finance Council but also the Parish Council and several “town hall” gatherings.
Anyone interested in joining the Finance Council may contact Jessica Musshafen at 405-406-0995 for more information.