Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Once again, it is the time of year when we consider our financial commitment to the Christ First UMC. For some of us, this is just what we do and you will do what you did last year. Others may throw this letter away without reading any further. Still, others may put it in a pile to be lost or discarded at some point in the future. (Please Don’t!)
Christ First UMC has had some significant changes in 2022 and 2023 looks exciting! The Finance Team, Staff Pastor-Parish Relations Committee, and the Advisory Council are all working to reduce expenses, right size staffing, increase mission and ministry, and increase income. All of this takes time and effort. All of this takes YOU!
Personally, I have five initial goals for the coming year:
1) Continue building our children’s ministry, which has already begun with the addition of two new classes and upgrades to our nursery.
2) Get to know our neighbors and make a difference in their lives.
3) Build our adult ministries and develop small groups for accountability and learning.
4) Continue supporting the conference by paying our shared ministries at 100%.
5) Meet our budget through the generosity of our members and constituents with no more funds drawn from our endowments.
All of this takes money. As the leadership and staff of the church work to reduce expenses, we need you to increase income. Everyone can do something and many of us can do more. I am asking you to seriously consider what God is asking you to give to support and grow the ministries of Christ First UMC.
Please fill out the pledge card located on the back page of the newsletter and bring it to church on October 9, 2022. If you cannot attend, please return your pledge card to the church office before that date.
In Generosity and Gratitude,
Rev. Jenni Piatt
Luke 10:1 tells us, “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go”. This was a great verse for our first Sunday together. Even though it might be a bit daunting to go where we do not know and give up control over what is familiar and comfortable, we can trust that Jesus knows what is best. Now is the time to trust Jesus to lead us “to where he is about it go”.
If this is truly what we want to do, it demands a closer look. This is the first verse in chapter 10 and it begins with “After this”. That begs the question: After what? In chapter 9, Jesus sent out the first twelve disciples, feeds the five thousand, heals a demon-possessed boy, is transfigured on the mountain, and predicts his death. The disciples had seen a lot and Peter declared that Jesus was the Messiah. At the end of the chapter, Jesus lets them know that all of this is amazing stuff, but it is not easy. Following Jesus is not comfortable and following must be first priority. He ends with, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God”. Then, “after this”, the seventy-two were sent out.
What does this mean for us? First, it is an important reminder that answering the call of God is amazing and exciting, but it is not easy. Second, it requires “all hands-on deck.” There is something for everyone to do. Lastly, it reminds us that once we determine to go where Jesus is about to go, we cannot look back. Our mission is to “Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”. We are committed to doing this by reaching all people and
showing God’s love to them, nurturing them in their growth in relationship to God, and helping them to do their part in ministering God’s love to the world.
As we travel on this journey, let us remember to walk together and keep each other in our prayers.
Pastor Jenni Piatt