Each year around this time our church enters into a time of intentional conversation about our stewardship and our support of the church’s ministries. I want to thank you for your past generosity. I believe strongly that faithfulness in a person shows itself most dramatically in generosity. You have proven time and again that you are generous people.
As we make preparations for the 2019 budget year, it is important for you to know that our goal is $900,000. To achieve this, we would ask you to simply increase your estimate of giving by 10%. If you gave $2000 last year, we are asking you to give $2200. This goal is very reachable and it will allow us to continue the vital mission, worship, and education of our congregation.
How do we use these funds? The single largest expense in any church budget is the personnel, the staff. The staff budget hovers somewhere near 50% of the total. This is true in all churches. And don’t forget that staff represents ministry. As Nancy and Alana lead our music ministry, especially in worship, and when Gracie and Steve lead our children and youth, your money is being well spent. And it is being carefully spent.
The Trustees budget, responsible for buildings and grounds and general operations, is also significant - close to 25% of the total. Of course keeping the building in good condition is what allows us to do ministry. Have you noticed how open we are to our community? There are groups in our building almost every day. Casey and Eddie do a wonderful job attending to these needs. As the building ages we find new challenges to confront. We need your support.
The remaining 25% is for the various ministries of the church, including our apportionments and our local church missions. In the United Methodist Church, we believe that we are stronger when we serve the world together. The apportionments are our way of affecting the nation and the world in ministry as a unified church. The apportionments support, among other things, the 13 United Methodist Seminaries that train our future clergy; they support the 11 historically Black United Methodist colleges across the country; they support Martin Methodist College in Pulaski; they support our conference’s own adoption agency, Miriam’s Promise (founded by our own Horace Bass); they support campus ministry at 7 universities in Middle Tennessee; and they support missionaries all over the world who bring the gospel to faraway lands in the name of United Methodists.
Your gifts also support the local missions of our congregation, like Room in the Inn, Habitat For Humanity, Project Transformation, The West Nashville cluster of schools partnership (H.G. Hill, Hillwood H.S., Gower Elementary), Community Care Fellowship, and the Last Minute School Supply Store. Your support also is used for community outreach and evangelism.
You will hear over the next few weeks more stories of our church’s ministries and you will hear from various voices. Our “campaign” will conclude on Sunday, November 4th. That will be our Commitment Sunday as we also celebrate All Saints Day. We are asking that you make a special effort to be with us on that Sunday and bring your Estimate of Giving Card forward as you receive communion. If you know you cannot be with us that day you can, of course, turn in your card anytime between now and then.
It is very important that each of us participates in the financial support of our church. Please be generous and give what you can. We promise to use those gifts wisely.