From the Pastor
Fall returns and the coolness of the season reminds us of a fresh start. In the life of the church, we return to our Sunday School classes, Coffee and Conversation
between the two worship services and of course, our choirs bring the gift of music. We see friends and church family that have been away over the summer…in essence, our
lives return to normal as church, once more, becomes the center of our focus.
The summer has been difficult for our church. We have seen a continued trend of declining attendance and with it, declining financial gifts.
We have had multiple roof leaks that are going to require a very expensive repair. One of our computers crashed creating a series of frustrations as
we process our financial data. And then there was the snow, over the winter, which never seemed to end, adding to our budget shortfall. As we go
to print, we are coming to grips with many months of unpaid connectional giving (apportionments). We have reached a tipping point - our inability
to raise enough funds to support our current budget is a reality.
Although we have been frugal in our spending, reducing our budget over the last few years, the Staff Parish Relations Committee in
cooperation with the Finance Committee has made significant salary reductions. We continue to spend wisely without compromising the
ministries of the church, but we simply need to ask for your help and God’s guidance as we move forward.
Our shortfall is not only in our financial responsibilities, but also in our leadership. We continue to struggle to fill positions of
leadership in our committee structure. While our Nominations and Lay Leadership Committees seek out those willing to serve, we have not
made a significant impact on vacancies that must be filled. I am confident that God has placed the right people in this community of faith to care for it, both in
stewardship and leadership. I am asking everyone to prayerfully consider where they might serve for the next year – consider it a step of faith. God always provides – not with extraordinary heroes – but with
simple, faithful people, like you and me. Talk with Kathy Rittler or me if God is leading you to serve in a new way.