Concerning Your Church's Finances

Dear Members and Friends of First United Methodist Church,

We write this letter to update you on the current financial situation of your church and to ask you to prayerfully consider the possibility of increasing your giving. But, we want to begin by first thanking all of you for your contributions. You have made the many ministries of your church, such as the food pantry and Vacation Bible School possible and successful while also providing for the more mundane parts of our life together such as utility bills and salaries.

At the beginning of 2010, the church’s general operating fund stood at $7,152, but as of the end of March, it had dropped roughly $10,000 to -$3,265. As a church, we have been in worse spots before. At the end of 2004, the general operating fund was -$23,056. So we have been in much worse situations, but we do not want to go there again.

To this end, the Finance Committee has been considering ways to cut spending. One relatively large expenditure, the salary for our secretary, Linda Beever, is already scheduled for a reduction when Linda retires from full-time to part-time in January 2011. That month, we will also see our apportionments drop approximately 10% due to a change in the apportionment formula (our apportionments also fell by 10% between 2009 and 2010). Other reductions have already been approved, while still others are being considered.

None of the budget reductions currently being considered can be taken lightly. For that reason we’re asking you to prayerfully consider the possibility of increasing your giving when you pray for your church.

Grace and Peace,

Kathy Wood, Finance Committee Chair

Dave Larimore, Church Council Chair

John and Jenny Collins, Pastors

P.S. You may have noticed that improvements continue to be made to the church building despite the fact that the general fund has dropped. It is important for you to know that these improvements come from restricted funds such as bequests and memorials that are not available for ongoing expenses.