Beautiful Christmas Eve Services!
Check out these great photos, captured by our talented videographer, Joseph Berggren. Both Christmas Eve services were well attended and enjoyed by all!
Decoration Take Down
Please join us to take down and box up all of the beautiful decorations that we enjoyed throughout Advent.
Questions? Email Liz Weller, FPC Worship Elder.
FPC Budget 2022 and You – Our Challenge
From FPC Finance Elder, Alan Roberts
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
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 | January 2, 2022
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 Family Bingo Bash
January 12 | 6-7:30
Join us on Wednesday, January 12, from 6:00-7:30pm for Free Pizza! Free prizes! Free family fun! Meet downstairs in Fellowship Hall. There is a sign up link this year, so please Contact Christa Schmeelk with any questions!
The Chosen Season 2 Watch Party Groups
January 9 | 4pm
“The Chosen” is an incredibly well-written web series that allows us to see Jesus in a new way – with humor and amazingly creative backstories for his disciples. We will be watching episodes on our own each week and then meeting on Zoom to discuss it. If you haven’t started this series yet, that’s ok! Contact Christa Schmeelk for more information!
FPC’s Confirmation Journey is getting ready to begin and is open to all current high school students. The class will be meeting on Sundays beginning February 6 through Confirmation Sunday on April 24. Please reach out to Ezrah Schmeelk, our Director of Student Ministry if you are interested or have any questions.
Children’s First Publicly Recognized Communion
Sunday, Feb. 6
For families who wish to publicly recognize this important moment in their child’s faith journey, we invite them to come forward to receive communion during our worship services on February 6. To get ready for this day, Contact Christa Schmeelk or call the church office for more information.
Anxious Parents, Anxious Kids
In-Person and Virtual Book Groups
Lynn Lyons shows us 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children. Join us as we read this book together in 2 parts. If you have already read this book, we invite you to read it again with us!
In-Person Group: Wednesdays: February 9/March 9 at 7pm
Virtual Group: Thursdays: February 10/March 10 7-8pm on Zoom
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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