It was a wonderful sight to see so many of you coming to the front of the church this past Sunday to make your financial commitments for 2021. This is a tangible sign of our ReCommitment to following Jesus. Your generous gifts will enable us to be ready to launch into a new year, reaching out with the Good News of Jesus Christ. While much about next year is still uncertain, I believe without hesitation that God is with us, and that makes all the difference.
If you haven’t made your commitment yet, there is plenty of time. You can mail your commitment to the church office, drop it by at your convenience, or download a copy at www.firstmethodistclinton.org/giving. No matter the size of your gift, when you share with us your intention, it helps our staff and volunteers to better plan for the coming year.
It may be helpful as you plan, to have a bit more information about how we’re doing this year financially. I know not everyone likes numbers, so feel free to skip the next paragraph and rejoin me at the end.
We approved a 2020 budget of $1,553,683. This was approved months before we had ever heard the word COVID. Through the end of September, our total income from all sources is $847,304. If we divided our budget into equal monthly amounts, that would mean that we were behind our year-to-date need by $317,957. If that sounds like a big number, it’s because it is. However, the staff and lay leadership of the church have responded by holding down expenses, and learning to do ministry in new, cost-effective ways. Our year to date expenses through September have been $933,738. So, we’ve spent $86,435 more than we’ve collected. How do we make that work? Well, we are able to do that because our church has no debt, and for several years we’ve been holding on to a reserve fund of at least 3 months operational expenses (Dave Ramsey would be proud). This means that even though we’re behind in giving, we’re still able to pay all our bills, and fulfill our mission commitments around the world. Most churches collect up to 30% of their total yearly income in the last two months of the year, so even though we’re behind a bit, we are still on strong financial ground thanks to your generosity and the wise stewardship of our staff and lay leadership.
Ok, if you skipped the “numbers” paragraph, thanks for rejoining us. All I have left to say is thank you for your generosity. Keep up the good work and be sure to turn in your commitment for 2021 as we look forward to what God will do in a new year!
Grace and Peace,