The Lord’s New Church
“A sense of a larger community….”
Nestled in a 100-acre property in Huntingdon Valley, Pa., The Lord’s New Church, which is Nova Hierosolyma, is a campus of 12 historic buildings; one, designed by famous architect George Howe, looks as though it belongs in the French countryside. It serves both a local congregation and also as the worldwide headquarters of a branch of the Swedenborgian Church. The church’s teachings are founded upon both the Old and New Testaments and the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, the influential 18th Century Swedish scientist, mathematician, inventor, philosopher, and theologian. Individuals who have been influenced by Swedenborg’s teachings include Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Johnny “Appleseed” Chapman, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Calvin Coolidge, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Frost, Helen Keller, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The Lord’s New Church was founded in 1937 and established a nonprofit corporation in 1939 that manages a multi-million dollar endowment supporting affiliates in Lesotho, South Africa, Croatia, Serbia, Sweden, and Ukraine, as well as the U.S.
When Angela Doto was named Executive Director in 2012, she inherited Your Part-Time Controller as part of the church’s “family.” YPTC had come on board when the church realized that relying only on an in-house finance director didn’t offer enough independent controls.
With locations scattered worldwide, the church’s financial books are not as straightforward as one might think. YPTC Associate Clare Sciulli “is amazed at our level of complexity,” says Doto. “We have endowments, investment income, program activities, and societies all over the world that need to be managed. Clare is such an organized professional. She comes in and is able to get all our reporting done in 10 hours a month. I can’t say enough good things about her. She comes in with a great attitude and she’s become part of our family. We’re very comfortable with her. We have an in-house bookkeeper who gives Clare extensive notes and they make a great team.”
Sciulli’s work is also appreciated by the church’s auditors. “She really organizes us for the audits. Having an outside set of eyes and an additional level of external control definitely makes their work easier. Our auditor told us that we should never get rid of her!”
From time to time, Manager Suzanne D’Angelo also comes in to check and see if everything is going well. “Those check-ins always seem to yield something useful. We’ve discovered on a few occasions that we needed to have something else done,” she says.
Doto appreciates YPTC’s network of support and referrals. “You definitely get a sense of a larger community. Your Part-Time Controller works with so many different organizations that if something unusual comes up they can ask the network of nonprofits for ideas. That’s been invaluable to us.”