First Love Stewardship Campaign 2016

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First Love…Celebrating all that we are and do as First Church

by Dr. Will Cotton
For the past 4 months, it has been my holy and joyful privilege to serve as Senior Pastor with you. In that short time, I have been deeply blessed by our Spirit-filled worship, our welcoming and accepting atmosphere, and our responsiveness to the opportunities and challenges before us. One of the key steps in launching us into our next great chapter as a congregation together is getting us more financially healthy by:
  1. creating a better cash flow,
  2. developing a reasonable and balanced budget with a broader base of participation
  3. further reducing our debt.

By meeting our $300,000 goal for the Kiss a Pig Revenue Challenge, we took a big bite out of our cash flow deficit! Thanks to our Finance Committee and each of you for such a great effort.

What is the next step?

The next step of creating a reasonable and balanced budget is more lasting. In the present First Love Stewardship Campaign, we are receiving estimated giving commitments for 2017. The Finance Committee will then be able to properly project anticipated income and help the staff and congregational leaders determine the scope of ministry we will do together. The 2016 budget was $2,630,000. The following graph shows our six major areas and where the money is being spent. This budget is appropriate for a congregation our size, and every effort is taken to be sure money is spent carefully and wisely.

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Commitment Sundays: November 13 and 20

In worship services on November 13 and 20, we will receive commitments. Please take time to prayerfully consider what God is leading you to give for the life-changing ministry that happens through First United Methodist Church Round Rock. Tina and I look forward to making our first commitment with you, which will be a tithe (10%) of our income. If you are able, I would invite you to join us in doing that. We hope that everyone will join in the journey of percentage giving, beginning where you can. You will find it to be a great financial and spiritual blessing. Commitment cards will be given out in the worship services. New this year…You also can make your commitment online through the myFirstChurch platform. It’s easy…just follow these steps.

  • myfirstchurchhotbuttonLog in to myFirstChurch, or if you don’t already have an account, click here for complete details about how to establish your myFirst Church account.
  • Once you have logged into your account, go to My Overview on your homepage.
  • Scroll down below the calendar to a box titled My Giving Summary.  In the lower right corner, click on the button marked Pledge Now.
  • When the pledge page opens, you may enter the amount, fund, frequency, and dates for your pledge. When finished, click Save or Save and Set-up Online Gift.

If you need assistance, contact Tricia Gossett at 512.255.3336.

How will you serve Christ through your giving in 2017?

Know that as you make your prayerful commitments, you are making the love of Christ more real for people in the church, in our local community, regionally, and globally. Let’s set the stage for the greatest year in our church’s history. Thanks again for being such a powerful witness for Christ in a world that needs Him desperately.

Always remember that you can change your commitment at any time, down or up, by simply going online to myFirstChurch or calling Kathy Dance in the church finance office, 512.255.3336.

Where does the money go?

  • Administration: $480,000. More than paper and supplies, administration includes part of the compensation of the pastors, the office manager and staff, our communications ministry, Employer FICA, worker’s comp, finance, transportation, and the equipping of our church leadership. The average giving individual/family invests $400 each for this part of our ministry budget.
  • Engage Ministries: Worship, Fellowship and Care. $440,000. This ministry area includes our reknowned music ministry (vocal and handbell choirs – adults, youth and children; orchestra, organ and piano; adult and youth praise teams), our beautiful worship services, and our hospitality teams (Welcome Home, Greeters, Ushers, Andrew Ministry). Fellowship includes Women’s and Men’s Ministries, Senior Ministries, Recreational and Travel Ministries and so much more. Care includes Stephen Ministry, support groups, and meals and visitation for those who have lost loved ones or become homebound. Funding provides for pastoral leadership, music staffing, and curriculum and supplies. The average giving individual/family invests $367 each for this part of our ministry budget.
  • Transform Ministries: Children’s, Youth, Adult Christian Education. $370,000. First UMC offers a growing array of opportunities for people to grow in their faith and become equipped for ministry in the world around them. Children’s ministries include Sunday School classes, a double session of Vacation Bible School, Fall Festival, nursery care and a supportive role with our Council Oak Pre-School. Youth ministries include weekly Sunday School and Fusion (Sunday Youth Worship & Learning), Midweek Bible Studies, Retreats and Local-Regional-International Mission Trips, and just plain fun. Adult Ministry includes Sunday School for a variety of interests and ages, DISCIPLE and other Bible Study offerings, and Life Groups scheduled for the 11:00 hour in 2017. Funding includes curriculum, supplies, ministry support, and compensation for youth, children’s and the teaching portion of our pastors. The average giving/individual/family invests more than $300 each for this part of our ministry budget.
  • Serve Ministries: Witness and Mission. $250,000. This rapidly expanding ministry area includes evangelism, justice ministries and our three mission villages: 1) Greater Round Rock (school partnerships, service center, and a variety of local needs), 2) Panama, and 3) You, the Body (local, regional and international ministries – many which are partnered with other churches and agencies). Also included are $220,000 in missional askings in cooperation with our conference. Much of this area is sponsored by gifts beyond the budget. The dream is that more money would be available for seeding more outreach from First UMC. The average giving individual/family invests more than $200 each for this part of our ministry budget.
  • Facilities: Maintenance, Utilities, and Property Upkeep & Improvement. $530,000. First UMC is blessed with facilities (worship, education, fellowship, and mission) that include an awe-inspiring sanctuary, Christian education and small group classrooms, a Family Life Center, Payne Cottage, beautifully-maintained grounds and expanded parking. The valuation of our property is more than $15 million. Preventative maintenance, replacement of first-generation equipment, and regular upkeep are important in keeping a growing and life-changing ministry. Utilities alone cost more than $150,000 per year. Add to that the support of our maintenance staff, grounds keeping service and indoor maintenance and the average giving individual/family invests $445 each for this part of our ministry budget.
  • Debt Service: Sanctuary, Buildings, Columbarium, etc. $560,000. Over the past few years, the indebtedness has moved down from a high of $8 million to the present $5.7 million. We also have some short-term obligations on our parking lot until all funds are received. Ongoing support of our budget allows indebtedness to decrease and makes available funding for our ministries and staff support. The average giving individual/family invests more than $470 each for this part of our ministry budget.
  • Summary: $2,630,000. There is almost no fat in this budget, which is for 2016. The 2017 budget will be set based on the anticipated income shown in commitments and other regular giving. The participation of everyone is required if we are to become the people of God that we have been created for and called to be. Every person and gift is crucially important.