The 1978-79 budget allows for several new programs that should be brought to your attention. Also, we have a comment or two on regular budget items.
Bible Study Hall Rent: $100,000 was included in the budget for the rental of halls for local Bible Studies. This amount isn't sufficient for every church to have a Bible Study every week, but we feel it is enough for each church to have 12 Bible Studies throughout the year. Those who want Bible Studies can now go ahead and start them, keeping the limitation we mentioned in mind. Some may want to schedule two series of studies oŁ six weeks each or have one study each month.
Office Equipment: Approval was given for the purchase of some office equipment for the field. We have sufficient to acquire 25 each of desks, chairs, files, typewriters and calculators, plus 50 tape re-corders and 20 telephone-answering devices. Obviously, this is not enough to cover all men in the field, so we will have to set up a priority system in which those men with the longest seniority will receive priority, then, after that, those with the most serious need. Therefore, anyone who has a need for one of the above-mentioned items should let us know as soon as possible. Please do not purchase anything locally without specific approval.
Tuition Expenses : We will reimburse any of you who want to take classes for one-half your tuition expense up to $150 a year for job-oriented classes that are successfully completed for credit. If it appears that the demand for tuition reimbursement is not as great as anticipated, we may give reimbursement for more than one-half your actual expense. Reimbursement will only be given for classes taken during the 1978-79 fiscal year. If the class ended prior to July, 1978, it will not qualify for reimbursement. Please seek reimbursement via a general disbursement voucher rather than making either tuition or books an expense item.
Books: Budget was approved to allow each field minister to purchase $30 in books that are immediately useable for theological and pastoral studies. Again, this applies only to books purchased during the 1978-79 fiscal year and not those purchased before July, 1978.
Public Bible Lectures: A small amount ($5000) was included to help those men who would like to hold public Bible lectures, but do not have enough in the way of local funds to meet all the expenses for mailings and hall rental.
Sabbath Hall Rental: The Sabbath hall rental category received a 12.5% ($236,000) increase for the 1978-79 fiscal year. Part of the reason for this large increase is that inflation has contributed to substantial increases in hall rentals over the last year, and we are anticipating this trend to continue. The need still exists to find the best hall rental rate available for an acceptable hall. No money was included in the budget for the rental of extra rooms for Y.E.S. programs.
Telephone Expense: The amount budgeted for telephone expense was increased by $11,000 over last year's level of useage. Over the past few months, we have had a rather substantial increase in telephone expense; however, if any of this $11,000 is left once the current crisis useage drops back to normal, we will be able to allow increases in telephone expense for those who feel they can profitably use the telephone in place of a certain amount of driving.
Dissident Mail: Mr. Ted Armstrong has mailed a large number of letters to various members across the U.S. Please ask any in your church who may have received a letter to give the envelope to you. We would like for you to forward the envelopes to Ministerial Services.