How can it be that Thanksgiving week has arrived already? I mean Easter was just the other week and school started back yesterday – right? At least it feels that way. We just got up from a great staff meeting putting the finishing touches on our Advent plans. As we get ready to get ready for the coming of the Christ child, there will be lots of ways to be meaningfully engaged at FBC. I trust you will take advantage of them and invite some friends to join you.
Approaching year-end brings about another important focus in congregational life; the fulfillment of the current budget and presentation of a new one. In 2018 we were intentionally ambitious in setting the annual ministry goal funded at 1.35 million dollars. We have received just short of one million of that to date, representing a considerable shortfall. There have been cuts, revisions, and postponements where possible, but the bulk of our commitments and unavoidable expenses have largely remained. In response to that deficit, we need a very strong financial finish over the next five weeks. That calls for all of us to be bolder in regular giving. And for those among us with the heart and capacity to dig deeper and step higher, now is an important time to do so.
When the 2019 budget is presented, you will see a plan more in keeping with God’s current provision for our church. There will be noticeable reductions in staffing, ministries, operations, and most sadly, missions. While we trust this is a short-lived reality, right now it is the painful and prudent thing to do as we establish a sounder financial base to undergird the ministry. Your pastor, staff, and our people remain confidently committed to being the church that God desires and St. Petersburg needs. We hold both the hope and expectation that we will witness God’s moving among us in many ways, not the least of which is financial. Thank you in advance for your faithful, generous response.