Building to Finish, This Year and in Years to Come

For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish.”  Luke 14:28-30

This Christmas Eve service at our Church will be unlike any that we have ever known. The pandemic has certainly has changed how we worship at our Church. While we worship virtually and through our drive-in services for Christmas Eve, we can still experience our beautifully-decorated Church building and campus. In a recent article by NPR, it says, “Christian worship in the United States, long characterized by its adherence to tradition, appears to have been significantly altered by the coronavirus pandemic.”  Many churchgoers shared with NPR how the pandemic has changed their views of church life and their expectations for worship in the months and years ahead.

Advent decoration. Four red burning candles, ornaments, and Christmas tree branches. Vintage style dark-toned picture

It must have seemed almost impossible at the onset of the Great Depression for our Church founders to commit to building this remarkable edifice we so lovingly call our Church home. Their vision, diligence, and fortitude helped them calculate what it would take, lay the foundation, and build what stands today. And, we can all imagine that one hundred years from today, the faithful will continue to gather at our Church for worship, fellowship, and renewal. Light will still stream through our beautiful stained glass windows; a heavenly choir will raise their voices in song, and people of all ages will hear wisdom and inspiration from the clergy as they whisper their prayers by candlelight.

Wouldn’t it delightful if there were a way to assure light will shine through the windows, know the choir will have glorious music to accompany their songs, and have confidence in the strength and integrity of the building home to our gatherings and celebrations?

That’s the gift the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth founders, early donors, the current board, and dedicated current contributors wrapped up just for us!  While those who gather 100 years hence may remember only a few names from today, those who are recalled perhaps will be known because they created a “giving presence” in our beautiful sanctuary. Such a presence is enabled by gifts to our foundation because Foundation gifts themselves are never depleted. Every year, income generated by Foundation donations helps our Church grow and serve its members and our community without touching the original contribution amounts. Lasting gifts to the foundation come in from various sources, like legacy gifts from a will or estate, a family trust, one-time contributions, or gifts from appreciated stock.

Foundation gifts are for only one recipient: FUMC!  First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth continually receives Foundation support because funds keep on giving long after the Christmas decorations have been put away and the toys need new batteries.

So as you’re getting ready for the end of year financial planning, perhaps there’s a way to celebrate the holidays and consider tax-advantaged 2020 Foundation contributions, too. Why not lay a foundation that will go on forever? Please contact Sid Johnston at 817-639-2367 or Erin Cooper at 817-639-2368 for additional information.

We are blessed to be a part of our Foundation and our Church as we focus on our spiritual home’s future. To all, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sid Johnston
Executive Director of First Methodist Church Foundation, Inc.

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