As we approach mid-year, I wish to express my sincere gratitude to you for your generous support of our transformative ministries and programs. I also wanted to share some of the remarks made last Sunday by Director of Stewardship Nancy Fisher:
Because of your kind and considerate actions, reflections of God’s love and grace are playing out in countless ways here at First Church:
Last week, 100 children grew in their faith in fun ways as they participated in a rockin’ Summer Jam;
As well, 34 Middle Schoolers served as the hands and feet of Christ at various nonprofits as part of Middle School Mission Blitz!
A loving hug and whispered prayer from one of our Congregational Care Ministers brought comfort in a hospital room to a member and their family;
A simple smile and a welcoming conversation prompted a new Fort Worth resident to make First Church her church home; and
Longtime Sunday School class friends who over the years have shared life’s joys and sorrows once again came together on Sunday morning in loving fellowship.
Earlier this month many of you read an exciting message from Dr. Tim Bruster that highlighted our growth — growth in new members, growth in worship attendance in our 6 worship services, and growth within children and youth ministries.
Friends, First Church is only one of a handful of downtown churches that are experiencing this kind of celebration.
You are the big reason why these ministries and this growth are happening!
We have much to celebrate but with this growth comes more responsibility. In my role as Director of Stewardship, I have the pleasure of expressing my gratitude to you, but also I want to encourage you to prayerfully consider as to how you will financially participate in our expanding faith community.
Before I go any further, I wish to acknowledge and thank our First Methodist Church Foundation for their annual disbursement to the church. We are indeed fortunate to benefit from this ongoing funding source. The Board of Trustees are the appointed stewards of these funds, overseeing how they are spent. A portion of unrestricted Foundation dollars is directed towards the general operating budget to fund building, outside consulting, and security-related costs. The majority of the Foundation dollars are directed towards something majorly significant and needed for this amazing and beautiful 88-year-old house of worship: maintenance, updating, upkeep of grounds, and landscaping!
The good news for you is that the Foundation makes it possible that all of your gifts are Discipleship directed, supporting our ministries and programs and thereby touching hundreds of children, youth, and adults from all walks of life!
The Finance Committee which is the lay leadership group that develops and oversees our annual operating budget has the expectation that our members through their personal giving will generate $4 million towards the $5 million annual operating budget. To date, 41% of our 2,755 households have raised $1.8 million towards the $4 million goal.
The Finance Committee, Dr. Bruster, and I are truly grateful for your generosity. In the months ahead, my challenge for each of us is to continue practicing unbounded generosity so that we successfully achieve our goal before year-end.
For some of you that may mean making a first-time gift, for others it means staying consistent or being more consistent in your giving, and for 600 of you, it means fulfilling or even exceeding your 2018 Commitment. (By the way, 59% of the $2.5 million Committed dollars have come in, so thank you for that as well.)
I am confident that this renewed enthusiasm towards giving will result in a bountiful and blessed year for First Church, and for each of us and others that we are not even aware of as the beneficiaries of these ministries and programs.
Please never hesitate to reach out to me if I can be of any assistance. I look forward to keeping you up to date on our progress.
Again, thank you for proclaiming your faith and honoring God in this very personal and intentional way!
Director of Stewardship
I invite you to continue in this faith journey with me, our clergy, staff, lay leaders and all of your fellow members as we stand and serve together as this Body of Christ in downtown Fort Worth.
Grace and Peace,