“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
— 2 Corinthians 5:17
In May, my first message to you here shared the VISION of our founders, the Foundation’s first pillar. Their vision foresaw how a legacy of contributions could enhance the experiences of generations to come. That visionary philosophy continues to support every aspect of our Church, in very many ways.
One is WORSHIP, the Foundation’s second pillar of support.
Fifty years ago, many remember and some younger members can perhaps imagine what worship entailed on Sundays. The liturgy and structure were very similar to today’s, but some aspects of the services have changed significantly.
One constant is our exquisite building. Here’s the building photo from the mid-1960s. Then and as it does today, its elegance makes a worshipful statement for church members and for the entire downtown area.
Even in those early years, First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation was at work contributing in ways that enhanced our setting for worship. Their first bold step was to take the initial donations (which totaled just $2500), invest them, and be patient. Soon, the Foundation was able to contribute $900 to the operating budget of the church and $554 toward a first payment to retire Church debt.
Throughout its first decade, the Foundation also paid for repairs, funded lighting improvements and air conditioning overhauls to assure a comfortable environment for worship in our sanctuary and in the chapel.
Not only is comfort provided by a physical worship setting, but it’s also supported by an underlying quality of confidence. As you know, foundation gifts are invested, managed and administered with careful stewardship, and only the earnings are spent. In this way, the Foundation contributes confidence to worship at FUMC. The continual presence of the Foundation’s support gives assurance that our structure is solid, our underpinning strong and our connections secure. Within this setting, worship becomes even more joyful, a weekly opportunity for celebration and renewal. Donations to the Foundation provide that confidence. Income generated often buys the tools that help clergy lead us and renew, inspire, guide and comfort our church family.
A hundred years from today, the faithful will gather at First Church. Some things will not have changed. Light will stream through our beautiful stained glass. Our choir will be singing hymns from 300 years ago and new compositions from the late 21st century. Beautiful organ music will play, and the minister will deliver a sermon that inspires and encourages. People of all ages will whisper prayers to God. Our church worship services will renew the spirits of thousands of people from all walks of life.
Though none of us will be here and a few of our names will be remembered, some will have a presence. Generous foundation donors create that that presence through their gifts. By giving to the Foundation, they enable a continuum of monetary support so that the Church can create even more profound worshipful experiences, now and for generations to come.
We’d like to know about your meaningful worship experiences. What made them most special? Who took part? What happened during the service? We hope to collect those memories and add them to our inventory of inspiration as we approach the 50th Anniversary event in September. Simply go to our event page and click on the email link. Let us know if you have photos, too, from your special times of worship at the Church.
We are so pleased to continue the Foundation’s legacy of timeless support as we worship together, renew and rededicate ourselves to this wonderful institution: First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth.