Video Devotional: Pilgrimage to the Birthplace of Jesus
Join Reverend Jeff Quinto, Director of The Bethel Series and FPC member, on a virtual pilgrimage to the birthplace of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Christ. He will be taking an actual pilgrimage to the Holy Land on February 1-10, 2022 and you can join him. In the meantime, join me on this virtual pilgrimage.
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!
Children’s Nativity is well-attended and enjoyed!
What an incredible Children’s Nativity Service this year! “One Night in Bethlehem” took place on Sunday, December 19th at 4:00 pm. 30 amazing kids each took a role in telling the Christmas story singing carols. They all did a wonderful job! God was at work as the children shared the story of the birth of Jesus. Numbers are not everything, but we were excited that the congregation size was the same as December 2019- pre-pandemic numbers! That was a special treat.
Thank you to everyone that helped organize, practiced, set up, took down, made treats, and supported all the children!
Patricia Coley, Director of Children’s Ministry, and Melissa Schall, Children’s Ministry Elder provided all Children’s Ministry helpers a small Christmas gift. It is an ornament containing slips of paper with all of FPC children’s names in them. It was a very meaningful gift to the recipients!
Network 56 Christmas Craft Fundraiser
Network 56 raised over $250 this past weekend for our new little library. Thank you so much for all of your support! We are still accepting donations of gently used books or cash to help us fill the library.
Live Nativity Pictures
FPC Budget 2022 and You – Our Challenge
2022 Budget Listening Session
Sunday, January 9, 2022 after the 10:45 Service
Alan Roberts, Finance Elder will moderate as FPC’s Session will describe the 2022 Budget gap and listen to congregational input on solutions
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 (Call, Pray, Act):
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 26, 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 email@example.com. Thanks!
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.
Want to receive an email notification when the weekly Connector is updated? Sign up here!