Monday, September 29, 2008

Stewardship Program for 2009

They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. 

In all that they do, they prosper.”  Psalm 1:3


Dear Members and Friends of First United Methodist Church, Morris


October 5th will be an important day in the life of our church.  On this “Vision Planting Sunday,” we will express our intended investment in the church for the coming year by pledging our support of the 2009 vision of this congregation.  We know we have been planted next to the River of God’s grace and provision—now it is the season to yield fruit.  Included in this letter is a card that represents your plans for fruit-bearing in 2009 that we ask you to prayerfully consider and complete by yourself or with your family and then place on the altar on Sunday, Oct. 5.  We are each asked to support the church with our presence, prayers, service, witness, and gifts.  As a way to encourage each other along the road of discipleship in 2009, the pastor and financial secretary will mail you a copy of your commitment at the end of each quarter during 2009.  During October and November of 2008, they will give a total of the combined pledges to the finance committee to help them prepare a budget.  (A 2008 “Missional Budget” is printed on the reverse so you can see what we have achieved over the past year.)  Perhaps we will achieve a more expansive ministry with your  pledged commitment.    


As this day approaches, I ask that each of us make our offerings to the church a matter of prayerful consideration.  That way, whatever commitment we decide to make on the fifth of October will be a faith venture between God and our families.


In uncertain financial times, many of us hesitate to increase, or even state our commitment.  Yet I believe that God gives us the strength to do what God leads us to do.  Sometimes, the discernment of what we shall give to God through our community of faith’s ministries compels us to examine our priorities.  Lara and I have already decided to maintain giving a tithe (10% of our income) to God through this church.  If you are not able to give a tithe, try to designate some percentage of your income that you will give.  We have faith that you too will find that pledging your commitment to support this church through your presence, prayers, service, witness, and gifts will reflect what the Psalmist sees when singing about “a tree planted by the river.”   As Paul also says to the Corinthians, “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.” 




Grace and Peace,



Rev. Nathan Mattox                                         Duane Lester, Chair of Finance



Ken Morris, Chair of Church Council       





Missional Budget 2008

First United Methodist Church, Morris


United Methodist Mission Statement: “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” 

Local Church Mission Statement: “Sharing the love of Christ by offering resources to persons in our church, community, and around the world who are in need.” 


It is important for us to keep in mind that the finances of the church are collected and distributed solely toward the aim of realizing the goal of our mission.  We collect our worldly resources to provide for this body of faith so that this body of faith can distribute the divine resources with which we’ve been gifted: Word, Wisdom, and Love.  In our mission statement, we commit ourselves to “offering resources.”  We offer these divine resources through the practices of the church. This budget is constructed so that you might see anew how what we do at church is cultivate and share the Divine gifts of God.  Each gift is linked with a portion of our financial budget that we feel is committed to cultivating and sharing these gifts. 


Offering the Resource of Word: We gather each Sunday to worship, where the Word of God is shared and reflected upon.  We believe the Word of God is the nature of Christ (John 1), and when we gather, Christ is present.  Our facilities which shelters us, minister who guides us, and volunteers who empower us help us offer this resource to our community (through worship) and the world (through our website, which has received 13,000 hits from all over the world).


(Includes worship supplies, insurance apportionment paid to conference, percentage of utilities budget, percentage of minister and staff salary packages, and percentage of administrative costs.)   $29,025


Offering the Resource of Wisdom: Through the educational life of our church, we gather each week to study together and keep in covenant.  Proverbs says that “An intelligent mind acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”  Our local church provides Bibles studies, fellowship groups; our connectional church provides workshops, retreats, and scholarships.  Through what we provide for the church, we offer this resource to the community and world. 


(Includes educational supplies for children, youth, and adults, percentage of apportionment, percentage of utilities budget, percentage of minister and staff salary packages, and percentage of administrative costs)



Offering the Resource of Love:  Through our mission and care and hospitality groups, we provide love and service to our neighbors-whether it be the reminder that you are being prayed for in a bouquet of flowers at the hospital, the kind of care the Good Samaritan provided (Luke 10), counseling for those with addictions, ministry to those in prisoner (the last are two of many service and mission ministries provided through the apportionment.) The friendships fostered in this community of faith reflect the friendship we find in Christ.  Along with ministries funded with this area of our budget, we also occasionally solicit special fund drives for particular emergencies. 


(Includes mission budget, percentage of apportionment, percentage of utilities budget, percentage of minister and staff salary packages, and percentage of administrative costs)                           $31,535


Total funds needed to make disciples who will transform the world in 2008:          $95,118





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