Here at First Church, we’ve remained connected and strong in the face of all kinds of challenges throughout our history, which this year includes a global pandemic that has had the doors to our physical campus closed since mid-March, economic disruption, and social unrest. And it’s only July.
So where are we in our financial year as questions abound about the future on all fronts? We’re still First Church strong, that’s where.
Due to this “can do” spirit, the miracles of technology, and YOUR generous continued support, even though our physical doors are still closed, our ministries have never been more active.
We are still:
- Feeding more people than ever before, including providing groceries to as many as 138 families in a single day at our First Street Mission;
- Building playgrounds in backyards for children who are stuck at home through volunteers and our Methodist Justice ministry;
- Giving families with children a much-needed break in the day to play, learn, be silly, and draw closer to God with virtual children’s programming such as Summer Jam, Sacred Spaces, Together Time, and VBS for more than 300 children;
- Leading our teenagers through this time with Family Sunday School, at-home service projects, virtual hang outs, one-on-one support, playing games and just being dorky via zoom and Instagram;
- Praying together nightly with Dr. Zhenya Gurina-Rodriguez;
- Having devotional time each morning with Rev. Lance Marshall;
- Enjoying weekly TimTalks — and Daily Bread each morning with Dr. B;
- Lifting our spirits every afternoon with Hymn-a-Day May, June Tunes, July Lullabies;
- Worshipping in a Pocket on Wednesday nights;
- Studying together throughout the week;
- Supporting one another via Grace Groups;
- Enjoying record Sunday School attendance and social/devotional get togethers;
- Reviewing books, and analyzing movies, and enjoying the Gift of Music concert series;
- Worshipping five different ways on Sundays — and throughout the week via YouTube and Facebook;
- Welcoming people who join the church — and visit us from all over the world;
- Holding baptisms, weddings funerals, and all kinds of other special moments held online.
Because of your generous support of our church through this time, our member giving for June was 9.57% more than last year. That means that despite a global pandemic, economic disruption, and social unrest, member giving for the year so far is only $5,473 less than last year.
And, if we count all the extra giving to First Street Methodist Mission, Methodist Justice Ministry, and the Next90 Capital Campaign, our total giving has increased by nearly $1.2 million dollars so far this year. “I think that’s an amazing demonstration of discipleship,” says Steve Fagan, Director of Finance. “First Church is keeping our ministries strong, serving the community, and building for the future!”
Keep up the great work, First Church. Even in Pandemic and some of the most unsettling times, we remain steadfast in our commitment to Love God, Serve People, and Transform Lives.