Your NFUMC Board is working diligently to address the challenges facing us as we look toward the future of our Church. The first step toward that future is the prayerful discernment of how NFUMC can better serve God and our community. We will begin that process later this month through a visioning exercise by the Board lead by Dr. Philip Schroeder, Director of the Center for Congregational Excellence of the North Georgia Conference. After our initial sessions we plan to expand the discussion to the whole congregation to develop a shared vision. As Peter described in in his letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 4, starting at verse 11:
11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God… 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
As we prepare for that future, we must also deal with the here-and-now issues facing us; one of which is the finances of the church. We had a very successful 5K and Midmorning Market event in the fall which resulted in a financial boost, but the financial foundation of any church is the recurring giving of the congregation which funds the ongoing operations and missions of the church. During the first two months of 2020 our income was approximately 60% of the giving during the same period in 2019. This places a strain on our ability to minister to ourselves and the community while we plan for our future.
The good news is that we have a good and loving congregation with a committed leadership team. We are a small congregation with a large amount of facilities, which is a challenge, but also provides opportunities. As reported in our January Board minutes, discussions with the District includes possibly planting another UMC church on our campus to share facilities (and costs) or another church merging with us. We also have our Monetization Working Group looking at renting Building C to a Pre-K or STEAM school plus renting out The Grove in Building B to performance groups in Fayette County Schools and other organizations.
We already have so many doing so much in our church, therefore it is hard to ask for more from you. Let me simply ask that we ponder and pray on this so that we may discern how each of us can contribute our time, talents, gifts, and service to fulfill our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Yours in service,
Steve Justice – 2020 NFUMC Board Chair