This year has been an extraordinary year, in both tragic ways and good ways. We certainly pray for those who are grieving loss of loved ones, loss of livelihood, loss of friends and companionship, loss of independence, loss of connection, and so much more. The COVID-19 worldwide pandemic has left no life untouched, and we as a church and as individuals pray continuously that this crisis comes to an end as soon as possible.
And there have been a few surprising silver linings. As confining as the shelter in place, stay-at-home order, virtual offices, and online everything has been, there have been a few unexpected side effects of this pandemic. Across our local community, many families have rediscovered sitting down to dinner together again, spending time outdoors walking hiking riding bikes and more. Some have learned to cook, build or repair things, plant gardens, craft or sew. Even drive-thru, takeout, or delivered food is most often consumed together, at home.
Scavenger hunts for families with kids have appeared in neighborhoods, everyone getting in on the fun with objects representing letters of the alphabet, numbers, “seek and find” items, yard to yard for kids to “look for” on their daily walks. Neighbors have begun helping neighbors again.
People have reached out to one another with telephone calls, handwritten notes and cards to those they cannot see in person.
Though this time has been rife with serious challenges, there have been bright spots. We’re happy to say First Church has become one of them for so many people, because of the continued, unwavering generosity of our faith community.
Here at our church, we have also had some amazing transformations:
Our sanctuary became a soundstage for online worship that has attracted church members, guests, and people from around the world looking for a place to worship; all services have also been available “live” and “on demand” via fumcfw.org, Facebook, and YouTube with record numbers accessing worship throughout each week, not just on Sundays. Even as we have begun limited, in-person worship in the sanctuary, most people continue to participate in worship virtually.
Our online programs have become virtual experiences, bringing people together in new ways, including some who have moved away or lost touch with our church. Sunday school, study and discussion groups, youth hangouts and parent check-ins, Together Time with Mister Mark, Summer Jam, and even VBS have all found new life in a virtual space with innovative execution that has kept our church engaged and thriving, even in this very difficult time and in circumstances none of us could have imagined this time last year.
Through it all, your faithfulness to God, to this church and to one another has been an amazing gift that has made a tremendous in all the lives we serve. Your generosity speaks very clearly of who we are as a church and what we stand for.
We begin our annual Stewardship emphasis on November 1, All Saints Day — the day we celebrate the faithfulness of those who have gone before us. Our Stewardship emphasis celebrates this faithfulness and how our faithfulness and the faithfulness of God work together for good. This faithfulness empowers the church to continue to be who we are and do what we do every single day to Love God, Serve People, and Transform lives, even during a worldwide pandemic.
As you prayerfully consider your commitment to the FUMCFW 2021 Ministry and Operating Fund, please know that your continued faithfulness will help empower our church to continue our mission and ministries in the coming year. Thank you for all you do and all we will do together with your continued generosity in 2021.
Dr. Tim Bruster
I really want to see you to pass along some spiritual gift to you so that you can be strengthened. What I mean is that we can mutually encourage each other while I am with you. We can be encouraged by the faithfulness we find in each other, both your faithfulness and mine.
~ Romans 1:11-12
Back in mid-March when the decision to go to online worship and ministries in order to keep our fellow disciples safe, the clergy and staff viewed this action as doable and short-term. The worship team and the communications team did their creative magic allowing us to be together on Sunday mornings and during the week, giving us the spiritual uplift, we all needed. The feedback from members was that of gratitude and accolades. Often Rev. Lance Marshall would say during his morning Zoom Devotional how wonderful it was to see familiar names and faces. Everyone felt the same way.
I think we also gain something more than the joy of seeing familiar faces. Just as the Apostle Paul found encouragement through the faithfulness of his fellow Romans, I find inspiration, hope, and comfort through each of YOU!
I am truly thankful for all of our members who hung in there with us through the summer. You were our cheerleaders who always showed up! We know it was not always easy; technology, as good as it is, can also be frustrating and tiresome. And yet in spite of it all, you remained strong in your faith as reflected by your participation, prayers and giving which brought the much-needed encouragement to our clergy, staff, and other fellow disciples.
As we begin planning for 2021, there is the realization that First Church as we knew it prior to March 15th will not be the same church going forward, and that is OK. OK, because our reason for being together in community has not changed. As it was before the pandemic, it remains for us as Christ’s disciples to be faithful to God’s mission and purpose.
Over the next four weeks, as we talk about the 2021 Stewardship Annual Ministry Fund Campaign, let each of us consider how we can use our gifts to uplift and invigorate all who we encounter in the faith while at the same time honoring the boundless faithfulness of God. Take some time to consider how you have been blessed. Consider what your responsibility is to the world around you and then let those considerations influence your generosity.
As a way of demonstrating your ever-growing faithfulness that comes through Christ and your loving support for FUMCFW’s ministries, please join with Jack, me, and other fellow members in returning your 2021 Commitment Card. In doing so, we are the faithful body of Christ for all who enter our doors, whether they come to us online or onsite.
Please know I am thankful for you.
Together thru Christ,
Director of Stewardship
What happens after I turn in my Commitment to Ministry and Operating Fund card?
You will receive a note of thanks and acknowledgment that we have received your commitment card. We’ll then enter your commitment information into our First Church database and update your giving record as we receive your gifts toward fulfilling your commitment.
How long is my commitment?
The commitment to our First Church Ministry and Operating Fund is one year from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022.
May I give more than I originally committed?
You most certainly can. We are grateful for additional gifts over and above your original commitment.
Do the special seasonal offerings during Advent and Lent (second-mile offerings) and other designated gifts count toward my annual commitment?
Designated gifts, such as gifts to support a specific program or ministry (i.e. outreach ministries such as First Street Methodist Mission, Kids Hope USA Mentoring, Methodist Justice Ministry), “legacy gifts” to the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation, or gifts to specific ministries within the church such as Choral Union, Media Ministries, Children’s Ministries, Youth Ministries, etc., as well as all “second mile” (Christmas and Easter offering) gifts are very important and deeply appreciated, but they do not count toward your annual Ministry and Operating Fund commitment.
What if I experience a job loss or health crisis that makes it challenging to fulfill my 2022 commitment?
We know that “life happens.” If you are faced with a financial setback, please consider sharing as much as you are comfortable sharing by discussing your circumstances with Steve Fagan, Business Administrator (email@example.com | 817-339-5085), or Nancy Fisher, Director of Stewardship (firstname.lastname@example.org | 817-339-5098). Not only will this give us an opportunity to pray for better days for you; it also makes us aware that you may not be able to give at the level you had planned to give. We will not ask any more from you but will hold you up in prayer.
The Business Office still has my credit card information on file from my 2021 commitment. Do I still need to complete the 2022 Commitment Card if my credit card information remains the same?
Yes. We never take for granted that your Commitment is ongoing, so for budgeting purposes and to confirm your continued Commitment, we ask that you please complete a new card each year. We also ask that you provide your credit card (or bank account information if we are drafting on your account) again each year when you turn in your Commitment Card.
May I complete my Commitment Card online?
Yes! You can complete your 2022 Commitment online below.
Am I giving to God first?
God has created all that is. We are given the privilege and responsibility to care for that which belongs to our heavenly Father. We give to God not out of obligation or guilt but out of gratitude for all that God has already done for us.
Am I intentional?
Have you developed a giving plan for your gifts to the church and put it into action? This may mean signing an annual commitment card, having automatic payments set up for your credit card or bank, or it might mean writing out a check for each month and putting them in stamped envelopes, each to be mailed on a certain day of each month.
Am I consistent?
When you follow your giving plan, your giving becomes consistent. Whatever your chosen pattern of giving — a weekly gift or the first Sunday of every month, or perhaps one gift in June or December. The key is making that plan and following it to become a consistent giver.
Am I generous?
Generosity looks different to everyone — and may change with the seasons of our lives. Generosity is an act of faith and a covenant between God and you.
Am I a cheerful giver?
The key to becoming a cheerful giver is to practice the stewardship values of generosity, intentionality, consistency, prioritizing. You will find joy as you discover what God is calling you to do.
Ways to Give
Go to fumcfw.org/givenow.
Check or Money Order
Make payable to FUMC Fort Worth; deliver to the Business Office, the Main Church Office, or via mail to 800 W. 5th St., Fort Worth, Texas 76102.
- Text the amount you would like to give to 817-241-2327.
- If this is your first time to give a text donation, follow the prompt to visit a secure site for registration. (If you’ve given via text before, please make sure your payment method is current.)
- Enter your credit or debit card information.
- Tap “Give” to process your donation.
- Look for a confirmation text to verify that your donation and registration were successful.
- Dollar amount — goes to the Ministry & Operating Fund (for example, $50)
- “Funds” — provides a list of ministry choices
- Amount + ministry name — goes to that specific ministry fund (for example, $10 First Street Methodist Mission)
- “Help” — provides giving instructions
- “Reset” — removes your saved card information
ShelbyNEXT | Giving App
Download the app to give from your smart phone.
- Launch the app store from your mobile device, search for “Shelby Next Giving,” and install the ShelbyNEXT | Giving app.
- When you launch the app, choose to search for organizations near you (make sure your location services are turned on), or you can search for First United Methodist Church by typing the name and/or Zip code (76102).
- Log in or create a donor profile through the app’s secure third-party website.
- Make a donation by tapping “Give.”
- Enter your donation amount.
- Select your payment method. Tap the “+” icon to add a new payment method. Enter your card information and billing details, or use the “Quick Scan” feature to scan your card information. You can also input your bank account and routing number for ACH/eCheck donations.
- Select a ministry fund from the drop-down list.
- Choose your frequency. You can give a one-time donation or set up a recurring donation for any day, weekly, biweekly, monthly, or quarterly.
- Tap “Next” to process your donation.
- “History”— shows your contribution history
- “Settings” — adjusts your payment methods, personal information, and account details
Contact: Business Office | 817-336-7277
Add Payment Method
Give Once or Schedule Giving
Commitment to Ministry
Thank you for your commitment. This estimate may be revised or canceled at any time upon request.
Contact: FUMCFW Business Office | 817-336-7277
Honorary & Memorial Donations
Want to honor a special person or accomplishment? Feel moved to make a gift in memory of someone you care about?
Please contact the Business Office (817-339-5090) if you have any questions.
Other Giving Options
In 2015 Congress made permanent the ability for eligible persons to donate directly from their IRA instead of having to take a required minimum distribution. This benefits you because you do not have to then claim the distributed funds as income; however, please be aware that you also will not be able to deduct the fund distribution amount on your tax return as a charitable contribution. It’s imperative that your investment advisor have the amount transferred directly to the church.
The financial markets have shown significant gains in the last several months. If you have appreciated shares of common stock that you would like to donate to the church, you can transfer shares of stock from your account to the church’s brokerage account. This provides you with a dual benefit: you do not have to claim the capital gain on the appreciated shares, and you get to claim the total value of this stock on that date of the transfer as a charitable contribution.
Contact Nancy Fisher at 817-339-5098 to get specific instructions for making a stock transfer and to alert the Business Office of the forthcoming gift.
First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation
The First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation was established in 1964 to provide for the long-term operation and maintenance of the church’s facilities.
The Five Pillars of First United Methodist Church — Vision, Worship, Education, Mission/Outreach, and Music & Fine Arts — are undergirded by a solid foundation that assures that the buildings and property are funded in perpetuity.
Gifts to the Foundation are invested, managed, and administered with careful stewardship. Only the earnings are distributed. As a donor, you can take comfort in knowing that your gift to First Methodist Foundation will have an everlasting impact.
This Sunday is going to be another great day to be at First Church! The Gathering and Traditional services will be featuring our youth for Youth Sunday with our children’s choir singing in both services.