When Steve Tice sings and plays bass in local groups like Magic Dragon or Random and True, he gets to tell stories with music. But Steve has another gig we may not associate with storytelling. He’s the church treasurer. “The treasurer tells the story of the church, in numbers.” says Susan Porr, EPUMC’s new finance committee chair.

Tice has volunteered in the position for almost two years now and is looking to train and advise his successor this year so that he can transition out of the job by the end of 2024. “It really is a wonderful way to serve the church,” he says.

Tice describes himself as an introvert, despite his many stage performances (“that’s a completely different personality,” he jokes). The treasurer’s job can be a good fit for those who like a little peace and quiet as much of the work can be done on one’s own. That doesn’t mean it’s a lonely pursuit, however. The treasurer does work closely with the finance committee, its chair, and church staff.

For those of us who may have dreaded math in school the position might sound a little intimidating. Be not afraid, says Pastor Ann Lantz. “The essential element of the position is to pay the bills,” she says. “It doesn’t take an accountant to do this. It just takes attention to detail, some patience and some humor.”

Of course it helps to be comfortable with numbers, have a healthy respect for deadlines and an organizational bent. But no background or formal training in finance or accounting is required. Tice notes that his professional background is in software engineering. Besides, QuickBooks, the bookkeeping software, does all the calculations for him. “It’s not rocket science,” he says. Tice also received a lot of training and support from outgoing finance chair Mike Elgin. Elgin trained him on QuickBooks over “three or four zoom sessions,” he says.

Tice does attend many of the monthly finance committee meetings and helped Elgin draft the latest church budget. He estimates he works 5 hours a week at the job but says those hours can double at the end of the month and at the end of the financial quarter when there’s more work to do. Much of it can be done from home.

All the hard work and support has paid off, evidently. Porr, a former CPA and CFO before she became a United Methodist pastor, says EPUMC is only the second church she’s been involved with where the financial statements “were all correct.” That may be due, in part, to what Tice says is one of the most challenging parts of the job: seeking help when you don’t know the answer. “The new treasurer will feel stupid for having to ask so many questions,” says Tice. “Asking for help when you feel like you should know something, that’s the hard part,” he says. “Be humble.”

If you have a knack for numbers and want to serve the church in this essential role (extroverts welcome too!) please email Steve Tice at finance@epumc.org or Susan Porr at atexashowdy@gmail.com.

Written by Sarah Gardner