A Letter of Thanks for Making a Successful Year Possible

Dear Friends, 

Hopefully, by this time, you have received our joint letter that includes your 2020 Contribution Statement, reflecting all of your 2020 giving activity.  Should you have any questions regarding your 2020 giving, please contact the Business Office (contributions@myfumc.org). As always, we thank you for your faithful stewardship, especially during this unusual and difficult year. We are First Church Strong, even during these times of uncertainty, BECAUSE OF YOU!

Through your generous giving — and the generous giving of others — we can celebrate, perhaps now more than ever, the many life-changing First Church ministries that took place this past year. 

Here are just a few numbers that represent the people served and lives transformed in 2020 by the ministries of our church.  

  • 58,795 people worshiped (Registered attendance on Livestream, Facebook Live, YouTube Live) since April, with 110 new members1,121 first-time visitors39 baptisms, and 48 confirmands not deterred by the challenges of a pandemic. FUMCFW Music and Worship Arts and our Communications Team produced more than 56 separate music videos that garnered more than 11,865 views on YouTube alone. 
  • Children’s Ministries distributed more than 300 hand-tied fleece blankets (a big warm hug from your church), 400 Polar Express Adventure kits (including 225 kits picked up on the day of the scheduled event). They also collected more than 200 homemade Christmas cards from FUMCFW kids to give to area hospitals. To keep the kiddos occupied, learning, and encouraged over the pandemic summer, Children’s Ministries and the Communications team also produced 22 Summer Jam videos47 VBS videos (300 families registered for online VBS this summer), 23 Sacred Spaces videos29 Together Time videos with Mister Mark and Gracie (from their home), and produced 15 Together Time videoswith 90 segments. 
  • FUMCFW Youth Ministries proved to be amazingly nimble and responsive to the needs of our teenagers with more than 40 new programs for a total participation of 855 since March in all kinds of configurations (in-person, drive-in, drop-off, outdoor, cohort, contactless) and maintained continuous contact with youth and their parents through things like Instagram Hangoutsvirtual bible studies and devotionalsa variety of game times, quarantine crafts, Facebook Live Parent Checkinsgoody bag dropoffs, paradesservice projects (project transformation, packing hundreds of pounds of dog food, and raising a collective $500 for the charities of their choice by doing chores at home, both helping out their families and filling the GIVE portion of their Healthy Plate)handwritten notesporch visits, and even a virtual Youth Banquet and Senior Appreciation Sunday complete with virtual choir. 
  • First Street Methodist Mission “kept folks fed” and housed with 13,017 grocery visits781,020 pounds (390 tons) of food distributed, and $104,137 in rent/mortgage and utility assistance. 
  • Dementia Friendly Fort Worth offered 177 daily activity programs49 weekly worship services to offer connection and support for people living with dementia in 7,436 total program views 
  • Our church experienced community in a new way this year, learning to gather via Zoom for meetings, Sunday School classes, social events, receptions, celebrations, condolences, and more. Our church communications team set up a 9-room “Zoom wing” with both optimized security and user-friendliness to facilitate 2,703 Zoom meetings including 28,272 Participants over a total of 1,308,029 meeting minutes (21,800 hours) since mid-to-late March. 
  • Keeping First Church connected via Social Media this year, we reached 10,477,115 with messages of hope and connection, including 2000 event posts and 435,539 minutes of Facebook video views (7,259 hours); we posted 1763 tweets to Twitter (30% were retweeted) and had 1187 new profile visits; we increased our Instagram following by 88%; and picked up 603 new subscribers on YouTube for 135,442 total views and 14,100 hours of viewing time. 

 It is because of the collective generosity of our First Church family that these ministries and programs continue to thrive, sometimes in new and vastly different ways, in these unprecedented times.

We thank you for your love, generosity, and can-do spirit as we continue to Love God, Serve People, and Transform Lives — no matter what.

Grace and Peace,

Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor

Rev. Lance Marshall


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