Words From Our Pastor

Grace and peace to you all this day. I delayed writing my column to wait for the results from our Stewardship Sunday. I am pleased with the initial number of commitment cards that were returned today, October 29th, during our morning worship service.

Forty cards were initially returned, although one was blank, so we had 39 giving units (a person or couple) commit to supporting our church in 2018. Those who pledged to support our church committed to giving over $107,000 in 2018.

So, I suppose the next question one might ask is how are we doing heading into next year relative to our budget? Our Finance Committee is working on putting the final touches on the budget for 2018. Are the pledges enough to cover our expenses? No, they are not. So here is where the good news/bad news comes into play.

You have heard me say that churches are not like corporations or industries. We do not manufacture a tangible item for sale and look to sales and forecasts to predict our profit or loss. We are supported by the generosity of those who call “First Church” their church-home and give. This is the reason why commitments to support the church are so vital.

Even though the initial commitments received are less than what was anticipated, it does not consider what is given weekly, monthly, or by special gift from people who attend our church. There were 39 (28 individuals and 11 couples) who committed but there are just as many who will not commit to an amount but given regularly to the church. This is what we call our “non-pledge” and “loose plate” giving. We cannot say for sure how much we will receive but we will receive additional amounts from these categories of givers.

Also, in the coming weeks, we will be sending a letter with a pledge card to those people who are a part of our church family but do not attend regularly. We receive welcomed support from this group as well. Let us all keep in mind the words from Proverbs, “One man gives freely, and yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”

On another note, we are fast approaching the Annual Church (Charge) Conference. This year our circuit will gather at the First United Methodist Church of Loomis to not only introduce the pastors new to our circuit (Pastor Alison Berry in Loomis and Pastor Ginger Foster in Auburn) but also conduct the individual church conferences. As we have done in the past, we will have an ice cream social and introduce the new pastors then break out for the meetings. Pastor Rob Pesola of Lincoln UMC will be conducting the Church Conference for First Church Roseville.

Finally, a lot is happening in our church in the coming weeks. Please take a look in this and the next issue of the Chimes and the weekly Happenings and become a part of the festivities.

 

So, until next month, Shalom.

Pastor Steve