Early this year, we shared the budget plan for 2020 that included almost $2 million in reductions from 2019. Most of the cost reductions came through retirements, staff attrition, and the re-assignment of some of our pastors. When the pandemic hit us in March and church buildings closed, we developed a 4-step contingency plan to reduce expenses further should economic conditions cause tithes to fall precipitously.
As we come to the last part of 2020, here's how we're doing.
Through October, regular tithe has been very similar to 2019 tithe, meeting the projected budget thus far. While tithe dropped for a month in March, many quickly found their way to online giving resulting in more consistent monthly support than ever before. In addition, we've received about $2 million in "extraordinary tithe," tithe that comes from a one-time transaction or other uncommon circumstance, which has helped address some of the extra expenses that came from so many personnel changes. Altogether, Oregon Conference members have returned $27.3 million in tithe year to date.
By God's grace, and the faithfulness of God's people, the Oregon Conference is still on track to meet budget for 2020. The emergency contingencies that would have resulted in significant wage reductions and layoffs have largely remained inactive. We are grateful for the faithfulness of God's people in tithes and offerings that empowers the ministry of the church to continue moving forward, even in the midst of a worldwide crisis.
As we come to year end and begin planning for what next year will bring, we have the opportunity to finish strong to provide a solid foundation for church ministry in 2021. Thank you for remembering the Adventist mission by faithfully returning tithe and offerings this year.