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A Running History of Securing The Land

From the 2010 Wheel of the Year Calendar,
a running listing of Four Quarters Camp Mortgage pay-off.

Just amazing what people with a purpose can do!

Our Camp Mortgage as of Jan 2005
Loan Principal: $145,000
Interest Rate: 7.35%
Monthly Payment: $1,340
Loan Payoff Date: Dec, 2019
Total Interest to be Paid Over 15 Years: $94,730

Read more...

We bought our first property titled to the Church back in 1999, The Members Village. At the time it seemed a huge step for us. Then in 2005 we made the big step of purchasing the two tracts of Land that constitute the camp and the Stone Circle, all owned by the Church. The question then arises, as a Church, how much of this land should be taxable? In 2009 Bedford County began its first county wide property reassessment since 1955. And the BoD determined it was finally time to appeal our property taxation and seek an exemption.

Read more...

From the 2010 Members Muse

Long-time Members of Four Quarters will remember the fund-raising drive launched in early 2004, driven by our awareness of Peak Oil, and with the goal of purchasing the Land of Four Quarters by the predicted economic downturn of 2008. How together we raised $25,000 in direct gifts from the Membership, and used those gifts in 2005 to secure a $145,000 commercial bank loan allowing the Church to finally purchase the Land and The Stone Circle.

At that time two promises were made; that the Live-In Staff would cut their costs to the bone, and that those savings plus funds from the then new e-Pledge Program would be used for early prepayment of the mortgage principle.

Read more...

A Snapshot of the 2009 Financial Year

Orren Sez...
Please do see my much longer article on finances (and much else besides), but I think a few things should be pointed out about the raw numbers.

Church Ward Income is basically income from my consulting business and holiday gifts from my family. It grew quite a bit this past year, as I allotted more of my time to building little widget boxes, anticipating a downturn in Church revenues. On the expense side, most of the costs of this business (and they are considerable with machine tools, raw materials and electronic parts) are lumped into “Other Expenses. Total “put in the Church bank account” profit amounted to about $20,000 for the year.

Read more...

Long time Members of Four Quarters will remember the fund-raising drive launched in early 2004, driven by our awareness of Peak Oil, and with the goal of purchasing the Land of Four Quarters by 2008. How together we raised $25,000 in direct gifts from the Membership, and used those gifts in 2005 to secure a commercial bank loan allowing the Church to finally purchase the Land and The Stone Circle.

At that time two promises were made; that the Live-In Staff would cut their costs to the bone, and that those savings plus funds from the then new e-Pledge Program would be used for early prepayment of the mortgage principle.

Now it is five years later. Global financial recession affects many of us and Four Quarters will see a steep drop in income this year. We are all tightening up our belts. But this is the short-term horizon, and there is a very bright light shining behind these present day clouds.

We can now see that those promises made by Live-In Staff and by our Pledged Members were honored, fulfilled and even expanded. In just 4 years over $35,000 in gifts have been applied towards prepayment of the Land Mortgage, reducing the principle of the original loan from $145,000 to its present $76,000. Allowing the mortgage to be retired in just 3 more years, without any additional prepayments.

We know of no comparable organization with anything approaching this kind of track record, an organization of Members who seize the moment, honor their commitments and bring their common vision into the bright shining light.

This is an accomplishment of which we should all be very proud. For it is now a certainty that Four Quarters and the Land will persevere into the future, and that was certainly not the case in our early years. Further, Four Quarters as an organization can now be said to be passing from its adolescence into a promising young adulthood. From an uncertain future, to the status of an institution of permanence.

Every Member has played their part, and every Member has a part yet to play. Look around you during the next Moon Service, look into the eyes a-glimmer and ask what part they have played in this journey. What part they have yet to play.

Then choose your own part, and make it real!

A substantial discussion of the effects of The Great Recession on Four Quarters,
from the 2010 Members Muse


Previously, I have presented the years financial report as dollars and cents numbers shown in comparison to previous years, and with brief commentary on the various financial categories.

But finances touch upon so many areas of Four Quarters, compounded by the Great Recession we are experiencing, that they serve as a lens through which to view a larger picture. And as I thought this through I found myself wanting to touch upon many subjects that are important to us as Members, and to the health and future direction of Four Quarters.

I would like to share with you my personal thinking on both short term and longer term issues, so this will be a long article of many little parts, with our finances as the theme.

But in short, it has been both a hard year, and a good year.

Read more...

Let's Do the Numbers

Four Quarters InterFaith Sanctuary
Financial Report for Fiscal 2008

Income and Expense by Category

Income
Jan 1 to Dec 31
2006 2007 2008
Campground Services 6858 6090 8000
Church Ward Income 20408 26060 26400
Contributions 26022 22130 30100
Event Income 4QF 76140 89540 89600
Event Income-Outside 95350 98925 95580
Memberships 54950 50700 52000
Merch CC Income 3973 4285 5120
Other Income 2047 4940 3400
Winery   7000 7000
Total Income 285750 309700 317200
       
Expenses      
Agriculture 6555 2256 2675
Camp Equip+Repair 18814 12990 24970
Camp Improve 47992 54293 56510
Church Services 1523 468 100
ChurchWard Support 22840 27880 33295
Communications 22753 20194 22960
Community Service 560 550 500
Event Costs 4QF 24823 30880 34550
Event Costs-Outside 39683 48434 53155
Financial Fees 603 670 470
Insurance 8657 6750 6010
Loan-Mortgages 29325 29920 25895
Merchant CC Costs 5197 4250 5205
Office 5539 4488 3330
Other Expenses 7094 10234 9430
Professional/Legal   6400 1050
Transportation 14940 16600 14840
Utilities 23970 17860 16230
       
  2006 2007 2008
Total Expenses 280688 295117 311175
Total Income 285750 309700 317200

On the income side, it is first necessary to explain the effects of Gaian Mind on our financial statement. Four Quarters handled registrations for Gaian Mind, and all of those funds were deposited to our accounts before disbursal to Gaian Mind.

The outside event income figure of $95,580 is then largely the gross income from Gaian Mind registrations handled through the Four Quarters ticket desk, which was probably 90% of all Gaian Mind registrations. The outside event expense figure of $53,155 is largely the funds remitted to Gaian Mind from those registrations leaving about $40,000 as Four Quarters income from the event, which includes income from our meal plan and other campground fees.

In 2009 then, we will see a $95,000 reduction in total revenue, with a $40,000 reduction in actual income, constituting about a 15% drop in total income.

The Four Quarters Winery deposited a $7,000 profit to Church accounts in 2008, the same amount as in 2007. These numbers mask a very important development however. Beginning in 2008 the winery began wholesaling its wine through retail stores in Maryland, dropping its retail pricing by 30% and selling wholesale at one half of retail pricing. Sales have tripled and the winery reinvested those funds in greatly increased production capacity. We expect to see Church winery income at least double in 2009.

On the expense side, Camp Equipment + Repair reflects last years $8,000 purchase of the Logosol planer, to be used in this year’s dormitory construction. This category and Camp Improvements will certainly be less in 2009 with the loss of Gaian Mind income.

Church Ward Support increased due to (hopefully) one time medical costs. And with the increase in the number of summer interns, the actual  cost of support per person has decreased.

Mortgage payments have decreased, as we are now beyond the “sweet spot” on how much money is actually going to the principal vs. interest; at this point, the ratio is 65% principal to 35% interest. As of this writing, the mortgage balance is at $76,000.  Much Thanks to the Pledge Makers from all of us!

Communications are almost all the cost of distributing the Wheel of the Year Calendar, and here we are slashing costs for 2009 by returning to a black and white format, and eliminating distribution points outside of our core region.

And last, Transportation + Utilities. With rising carbon costs and our deep awareness of Peak Oil here on the Farm; we have worked very hard to tighten our carbon foot print. The results are in the numbers!    

As always the accounting system is open for Members to review, and we love questions!

1998-2001
Financial Reports of Four Quarters

Lets do the Numbers!
(From the January 2002 Members Muse

Fiscal 2001 has closed out as a tremendous year for Four Quarters. We have more than met our goal for Members’ giving to the Capital Funds Drive, revenues from Four Quarters sponsored fund-raisers saw a major increase and we mostly met our expense budget for the year. Most importantly, we have $36,000 in the Land Trust CD on deposit. Woo-Hoo!
As you read this commentary, glance across the page at the line item listings, and in particular the changes over the past four years. They will give a good picture of our growth over the years. And we will not be publishing a 2002 budget until after our bank loan to purchase the Leisinger Tract is locked in. This financial report was created in mid December 2001, so there will be some changes when we post the final figures to the website.

Income
Memberships and Donations
are always the purest form of support and are the most genuine indicator of the health of any Church or nonprofit. Donations, Pledges, and Memberships increased 20% over 2000, to $27,500. Gifts specifically to the Land Trust totaled an additional $25,000. Taken together they constitute a phenomenal 31% of our total income. This is without a doubt the strongest charitable support of any Earth Religious-NeoPagan organization… simply unprecedented. In this way our Members are leading the NeoPagan-EarthReligious community.
Our own Fund-Raisers have grown from 2000’s total of $39,000 to this year’s $56,500, a 45% increase from last year. Stones Rising and Drum ’n’ Splash both posted strong increases in attendance, and meal plans through the Starvin’ Artist have doubled for the year. We served almost 2,500 meals at Stones Rising alone. We expect that these trends will continue for the 2002 season, particularly with the introduction of Ecstasis for Beltaine and the return of The Body Tribal. It is worth pointing out that by the close of the 2001 season over 40% of our registrations were coming in by credit card, through our website.
Grounds Fees include individual weekend camping fees and charges to outside groups for use of the camp. This is the only area where we fell under income budget for 2001. Sadly, the SHARE organization has ceased to exist and with it their fine music festivals. The loss of this event is directly tied to our falling below budget projections for outside events.
Land Fund Gifts are those moneys, separate from pledges and general contributions, that have been given specifically for the Capital Funds Drive. In 2001 these gifts totaled $25,000 and have been matched by $11,000 from the Church. Because they are viewed as one time gifts, they are shown as a separate income line item in order not to be confused with regular operating income. Elsewhere in this Muse you can read about our plans for the purchase of the Leisinger Tract, and possibilities for the future of this incredible fund-raising appeal.
Our Business Line of Credit with Hagerstown Trust is a major development for the financial health of Four Quarters; building our credit-worthiness while providing wintertime operating funds. In fact it is what allowed us to print the color cover for the 2002 calendar. The $13,500 we have borrowed in 2001 is shown as a separate line item so that it does not become confused with regular operating income.

Expenses basically group themselves into three classes: Permanent assets that have real tangible value; Basic holding costs that keep the doors open; and Program and mission costs that provide the services for which Four Quarters was founded.

Capital Equipment, Land Purchase and Improvements both increased above our budgeted levels, largely through continued improvements to the Meeting Hall building and the kitchen it contains. When meal plans are increasing and volunteer staff works so hard, it seems right to go over budget with continued improvements. Mortgage payments for the Members Village have settled down to $2,500 for the next four years when the property will be paid off. Taken together these three classes of expenses totaled $30,250 for 2001. Although this was just a slight increase in spending over 2000, it was way over our budget. It’s hard not to continue making Four Quarters better.

The Leasehold, Office Supplies, Professional Services, Repairs, Transportation and Utilities are expenses that constitute our overhead and are difficult to reduce.
Professional services went over budget, and almost all of this was due to the setup and fees from the new Merchant Credit Card account. Many of these are one-time fees associated with setting up the account and equipment and will not occur next year. Our recurring transaction fees are running about 4% of the $30,000 that was charged this year.
Taken together our holding costs totaled just under $42,000 for the year, up from $40,500 in 2000.

Our Program Costs; Communications, Church Ward Support, Community Support, Operations and Presenters Costs all go towards sustaining the mission of Four Quarters, and as is proper this is the largest category of costs. In 2000 these costs totalled $36,000, of which $12,000 was Moon Service and meal plan food and about $6,000 directly to cover health and clothing of the Church Wards. For 2001 these costs increased to just under $57,000.
In 2001 Church Ward support went over budget for two reasons. We have encountered unexpected health costs for one of the Church Wards, and these costs alone account for most of the increase. Secondly, we have become much better at tracking Household Food separate from Moon Service or Meal Plan food, and these costs were larger than we had planned due to better accounting and the large number of guests that share meals separate from Moon Services.
Moon Service and Meal Plan food costs increased to $13,000 even though the amount of food served increased quite a bit more. This is due to better storage and equipment, buying in larger quantities, excellent kitchen staff and assigning more of these food costs to Church Ward Support.
Communications costs increased significantly, from $7,500 to almost $10,000, due to a 6,500 print run for the 2001 calendar and large print runs for event flyers and the Members Muse. We expect this trend will continue and we plan to print and give away 10,000 copies of the Wheel of the Year Calendar this year. We never seem to be able to meet demand for our publications and they are a very important form of outreach for Four Quarters.
Another significant trend in Program costs is a doubling of Church contributions to other religious and nonprofit groups. For 2001 this totaled just under $3,000. We feel this is an important way of acknowledging our own blessings of support while furthering the growth of EarthReligion.

Our payments to our Business Line of Credit are separately listed so that they do not become confused with regular operating expenses. The $8,000 we have paid against our Line of Credit leaves a current $5,500 liability which is carried over to our account balances.

In conclusion, a very strong year of growth and change at Four Quarters. The Capital Funds Drive is very close to our original goal of $40,000 and we have established a commercial credit relationship with Hagerstown Trust. Our Merchant Credit Card and website-based memberships and registrations have met with great success. And while all of this occurred we continued with improvements to the Camp and equipment for the kitchen.
All in all, much to be proud of. I think that the coming year will be every bit as successful as this last.

Orren Whiddon

Fiscal 2001 Treasurer’s Report
Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary of EarthReligion



Four Quarters InterFaith Sanctuary Financial Report for Fiscal 2001
Jan 1998 Through Dec 15, 2001 Income and Expense by Category

INCOME                     1998        1999         2000    2001 Budget       2001 Actual

4QF MEMBSHP             12,870    19,615      22,905    [20,000]          27,547        
WARD INCOME              7,425        723      71,990      [3,000]         5,856        
CONTRIBUTION           10,808    11,937      16,438    [12,000]         13,578        
BELTAINE SPRING                0         960      2,175       [2,500]            3,562        
DRUM AND SPLASH        5,134      5,142      7,385       [8,500]          17,300        
HEALING SPIRIT            1,566       8150             0            
MAGIC MOUNTAIN         2,960       4,642    3,918                0           
STONES RISING            18,443    13,435     20,570    [24,000]          31,407        
SWEAT LODGE                                   0         290        [500]               256       
WOMEN’S GATHERING           0       1,090     1,890       [2,500]            3,502        
GROUNDS FEES             11,473    17,735    30,986    [36,000]           31,000        
ESPIRITU SANTO                                0    01,090      [1000]               575       
OTHER INCOME               5,848    1,142        4,819     [3,000]           3,607        
SUMMER CAMP                             1,050    420995     [1,000]                  0       

Total Operating Income  79,258  84,929     115,658    [114,000]     138,190        
Land Fund Donations                                    [20,000]        25,198    (actual)
Credit Line Principle Borrowed                      13,500    (5,500)

TOTAL 2001 INFLOWS    176,889

EXPENSES                         1998      1999         2000    2001 Budget    2001 Actual        

CAP EQUIPMENT            4,724         5,796        11,133    [4,000]         10,901        
WARD SUPPORT            1,777          2,501         5,715    [8,000]         16,137        
COMMNCTNS                 7,151          7,084          7,417    [6,000]           9,984        
COMNTY SUPRT             1,005             405          1,350    [2,000]           2,902        
IMPROVEMENTS             4,199         8,801        14,928     [4,400]         16,799        
LAND PURCHASE                  0         4,552           9,631    [2,600]           2,593        
LEASEHOLD                 20,800       19,550         18,408   [19,000]        18,328        
LOANS                            715             136          2,550              0                 0       
OFFICE SUPPLIES             787             745             426        [500]           1,328        
OPERATIONS               11,169       12,049         18,881    [25,000]       21,845        
OTHER EXPENSE            1,446         1,563             842       [1,500]         2,421        
PRESENTERS’ COSTS      4,479         5,394           5,137      [2,000]         2,740        
PROFES’NL SERVICES     6,002         8,057           5,467      [3,500]         6,890        
REFUND                        2,650         1,170             355         [500]             949       
REPAIRS+MAINT            2,329        2,105           3,917      [2,500]         1,052        
TRANSPORTATION        1,836          1,400         4,510      [3,000]           5,487        
UTILITIES                    5,385          4,422           7,839      [9,000]         8,603        

1998             1999            2000   2001 Budget  2001 Actual   
Total Operating Expenses76,760    86,125       117,717    [93,500]       128,959        
Credit Line Principle Paid     8,000
TOTAL OUTFLOWS    136,959

Total Operating Income   79,258    84,929       115,658   [114,000]       138,190        
Land Fund Donations               0       5,800         3,500      [20,000]        25,198
Credit Line Principle Borrowed    13,500          (5,500)
TOTAL INFLOWS       176,889

BALANCE                     2,498      -1,196         -2,058    [20,500]         39,930


Financial Reports
1998-1996

Below you will find a brief summation of income and expense from fiscal 1996 through 1999. At the date of this tabulation 1999 lacks Decembers income and expense. At first these tables may seem confusing, but they will reward a close examination. Think of it a tree rings outlining the history of a living organism, year by year.

INCOME

4QF MEMBERSHIP
CONTRIBUTIONS
EVENT-GROUNDS FEES
CHURCH WARD-OTHER

TOTAL INCOME
FY 1996

2,700
7,500
51,000
2,700

63,900
FY 1997

6,900
6,500
68,300
5,000

86,700
FY 1998

12,900
10,800
42,300
13,100

79,100
FY 1999

18,700
10,300
44,000
8,300

81,300
TOTAL

41,200
35,100
205,600
29,100

311,000

Noteworthy on the income side, in fall 1997 the church made the decision to emphasize memberships and members privileges rather than increasing general attendance at fundraising events. This was brought about by our experience of the 1997 season, which although showing strong attendance, brought with it high costs and all the attendant problems of hosting large numbers of people who were unaware of the Culture of Four Quarters. 1998 saw a strong increase in memberships and contributions, with many more people now attending events as members with their subsidized registrations, and a much improved atmosphere of sanctity on the Land. This growth was offset by the loss of income from the cancellation of our fall 1998 music festival. 1999 saw continued growth in memberships and the new lifetime memberships; and we will probably close the year just under 1997's levels. It is our expectation that Year 2000 will see 1997's levels exceeded by Four Quarters Members or people seriously considering membership.

EXPENSES

CAPITOL IMPROVEMENTS
COMMUNICATIONS
COMMUNITY SUPPORT
LEASE HOLD
OFFICE SUPPLIES
OPERATIONS
PRESENTERS COSTS
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
MAINTENANCE
TRANSPORTATION
UTILITIES
REFUNDS, OTHER

TOTAL EXPENSE

INCOME LESS EXPENSES
FY 1996

15,300
3,300
900
15,400
500
12,200
6,800
1,900
1,600
1,000
400
1,600

60,900

3,000
FY 1997

16,300
9,100
1,200
17,600
800
15,400
14,000
2,900
600
1,600
2,600
3,900

86,000

700
FY 1998

8,900
7,200
1,700
20,800
800
12,100
4,600
6,000
2,300
1,800
5,400
5,100

76,700

2400
FY 1999

19,000
7,000
1,600
17,800
700
13,600
5,400
7,300
2,100
1,400
4,400
2,700

83,000

(1,700)
TOTAL

59,500
26,600
5,400
71,600
2800
53,300
30,800
18,100
6,600
5,800
12,800
13,300

306,600

4,400

On the expense side, while 1997 was peak income, it was far and away offset by the high costs, particularly Presenters, Communications and Operations. Operations is where we classify food costs and it is worth pointing out that in 1997 all food costs were catered by outside suppliers and paid for by meal plan tickets. By 1999 all food was prepared by Church staff and almost every festival featured a free Saturday Feast in addition to meal plans. Likewise communal dinners are now the norm for Moon Services. All this while total costs in the operations category dropped. 1999 has also seen a strong return to reinvestment in Capitol Improvements, Maintenance and Professional Service; as the Church broke ground for the Meeting Hall, bought the Members Village property and purchased a site generator for the 2000 season.

 

Service, Ceremony and Celebration
Joining the World of Spirit and the World of Today
a Work of Years... Stone by Stone

Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary 190 Walker Lane Artemas PA 17211 USA 814-784-3080 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as an InterFaith Non-Denominational Church, Monastery and Spiritual Retreat Center.
All donations fully tax deductible as allowed by law. PA EXMP 75-538-546 FED EIN 25-1853964
© 1995-2014 The Church of Four Quarters™, Four Quarters™ and Four Quarters Farm™
Free use of text expressly granted for all non-profit purposes; unchanged and with attribution to Four Quarters. All other rights reserved.