Get back in the Jeep!
From the article, Don’t abandon the Church, by Kelly Williams.
The excerpt below is from an article that is recommended reading from Pastor Kirk. In the article, a pastor recounts a trip into the African Savannah that illustrates the importance of staying engaged at church.
When we finally arrived at the center of the Savannah, we pulled up literally right beside a pride of lions. We were practically just feet away from them in this open-air Jeep. As we sat there with nothing protecting us from the lions, I said to the driver, “Are we safe?” His reply, “Oh yes,” in his British accent. I said, “Do you mind me asking why we are safe?” He said, “The lion cannot differentiate between you and the Jeep.” I said, “What if I get out of the Jeep?” He said, “The lion would immediately pummel you, crush you and kill you.”
I said to the driver, “I’m gonna stay in the Jeep!”
He smiled back at me as if to say, “Good decision.”
Today many of God’s people and especially families with children and students are getting out of the Jeep of church and going it alone.
If we don’t stay in the Jeep, we lose fellowship, accountability, community, mutual encouragement, edification, and many other benefits. Then the Enemy gets us isolated, fretful, full of anxiety, and then offers us a temptation we would never expect. But my experience is that the pain, the length of time, and the devastation doesn’t have to be as great as it is when we are alone, isolated and tempted.
Your family needs fellowship. Maybe the church you once attended is not the place. That’s fine, but you still need to join a fellowship and work together for the benefit of your community and the benefit of God’s Kingdom. Yes, online can provide many of these components, but not if you are not engaging it either.
Don’t buy the lie that you can get out of the Jeep without it hurting you and your family. The Enemy is waiting to destroy anything good about your life and he knows the best chance he has is if he can get you isolated.
Get back in the Jeep!
Can and will the church go on without you? Yes, Jesus will build His church. But that is not our preference, and it is certainly not God’s.
We need you and you need us. Your neighbors, friends, family members, co-workers, and everyone you encounter is impacted differently when you are in community with other believers. You see others differently and you see yourself differently when you remain in the Jeep.
Staff Christmas Party!
On Sunday, December 12 FPC staff gathered for food, fellowship, and Christmas spirit. While we enjoy working together, we REALLY enjoy trying to embarrass each other with crazy white elephant gifts!
As staff, we would like to extend our gratitude for the continued support and prayers of the FPC congregation. We feel lucky to serve the congregation and the missions of First Presbyterian Church in Waunakee.
FPC Budget 2022 and You – Our Challenge
From FPC Finance Elder, Alan Roberts
Friends in Christ: In this season of light I write to you with Thanksgiving, Concern and Faith:
Through 21 months of Covid, you have stuck with Christ’s message and mission at FPC. Your givings (and some prudent reductions in activities and costs, and some federal assistance) have kept our balance sheet in good stead. We will end 2021 with a small surplus (say $20,000) in our General Fund.
CONCERN (THE BAD NEWS)
The good work of Brett Cable as Stewardship Elder and you as Christ’s hands and feet have delivered 2022 giving pledges of $583,858 (a 1.1% increase on the similar period last year). Thank you for your collective commitment to FPC.
Given the pandemic, one might celebrate flat giving and income for 2022. Unfortunately for FPC and our Session, this number creates a large gap and deficit for 2022:
- 1. We have exhausted the bulk of the General Fund balance provided by the 2020 federal PPP program. The cushion is gone.
- 2. Our draft 2022 Budget assumes a return to a mission tithe (10% of General Fund receipts), versus the reduced mission giving used to balance the 2021 balance sheet.
- 3. As we return to in-person worship and programs, our ongoing costs (part-time and event staff, supplies, utilities) jump significantly over 2021 where the church building was often dormant.
The net of all this? Our draft budget shows a gap (deficit, in the red, not good) amount of $300,000 for 2022.
In the past Session has often approved Budgets with a gap of $50,000 – $130,000 (faith budgets) and looked to God and flock to provide (added giving and avoided costs) to balance the books. This has usually worked. But our Session has great concern that approving a gap of $300,000 in time of decreased worship attendance is a bridge too far.
Over the next several weeks Session will be meeting in closed session and looking to close this yawning gap back at least into faith budget territory. Unfortunately, all potential options must be on the table:
- 1. Resuming bank borrowing – going back into debt after several debt-free years
- 2. Reductions in ministries and programs
- 3. Adjustments to staffing levels
- 4. New or increased user fees for building users and program participants
Suffice to say we sit at a critical juncture for our church.
FAITH (THE GOOD NEWS)
We have faith that you will rise to this challenge. For some it will mean giving your leaders including me input and guidance on solving the challenge. (I’ve met a lot of smart, capable Presbys in my life). For others it will mean sharing more treasure and a new or increased pledge to stave off difficult
actions. For others still it will mean accepting and supporting any tough decisions that Session makes to assure FPC’s future.
OUR HUMBLE REQUESTS-CPA:
Or call or email me at any time (info below) to ask questions about our challenge, or give me your considered wisdom on what we must do to meet that challenge.
For our church (financial health) and its Session (good decision making). Pray also about what role you can play in our Faith Journey for 2022.
If you feel so moved by the Spirit, either make your 2022 pledge (or increase your original one) to ensure our scope and quality of ministries is fully sustained in 2022
Alan Roberts, FPC Finance Elder (on behalf of your FPC Session)
WEEKLY ANNOUNCEMENTS | December 19, 2021
Connect with the Connector!
In an effort to streamline the process for submitting requests for event announcements in the Connector or spoken during the worship service, Communications has developed this easy-to-use online form to share all of your important information.
Click the link below to check out the form and if you have any feedback or questions, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
The sanctuary doors open for regular seating twenty minutes before each service. Those requiring assistance may be seated earlier by an usher. Children of all ages are welcome to sit with their families!
Contemporary Music Celebration 4:30 pm. Celebrate Christmas with music led by our talented Worship Team vocalists and instrumentalists.
Traditional Music Celebration 7:00 pm. Enjoy a traditional Christmas celebration with the Adult Choir and Joyful Noise instrumental ensemble.
Communion will be offered after the 7 pm service in the chapel.
On Sunday, Dec. 26, which is the Sunday after Christmas Eve, we will have ONE service at 9:30am. We are going to sing Christmas Carols and hear the stories behind some of our most beloved Christmas songs!
FPC is looking for someone to help in the nursery. We have one person ready to help, but we need two people to run the nursery. If interested, please contact Elder Melissa Schall via email or call the church office.
Stephen Ministry at FPC: Providing God’s Care to Hurting People
What is this ministry about?
Extensively trained and supervised Stephen Minister Caregivers provide high-quality, one-on-one confidential Christian care to anyone in need. They provide weekly visits and ongoing support as long as the care receiver needs. Should the care receiver have needs that are beyond the scope of a Stephen Minister Caregiver, they are referred to professional caregivers.
What kind of care is offered from a Stephen Minister?
- CRISIS CARE – For people experiencing change(s) that significantly challenge their ability to cope.
- FOLLOW-UP CARE – After the crisis event.
- CHRONIC CARE – For a person whose situation is unlikely to change.
- PREVENTIVE CARE – Providing care before a crisis occurs.
- SUPPORTIVE CARE – Care for the caregiver.
How can I find out more about this ministry?
Call the church office at 608-949-9445, or reach out to a pastor or deacon. Stephen Minister Caregivers don’t replace the care of pastors and deacons. They carry it a step further.
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