Commitments – we all make them. Some are easy to fulfill. Some are challenging to fulfill. Sometimes we achieve them. Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we need to change them when assumptions we made about them change.
The outbreak of coronavirus has affected all of us personally and financially. Who would have thought (even just a few weeks ago) we would be watching our Sunday services on video and communicating with one another by phone and email? Yet, we are doing just that.
Even though we are not coming to church on Sunday or during the week for Bible studies and activities, we are still the church – a body of Christ who nurture and encourage one another in Christian love and faith. A body of Christ committed to reaching and nurturing our community with the love of Christ.
Even though we are not coming to church on Sunday, Pastor Don and our staff are still working. They are probably working even harder than before (if that is possible) identifying, implementing, and using different ways for us to remain connected. We are blessed by each one of them and we are committed to ensuring they continue to receive their pay checks.
We are being good stewards. We are reducing expenses where possible. We have reduced the heat and stopped the cleaning service because the building isn’t being used as much. We are looking at what else we might reduce. We are committed to ensuring our bills are paid.
Here is some information that provides some perspective:
- Typically, our giving is $30,000 – $35,000 a month ($7,500-$8,000 per week).
- Our compensation expenses are about $19,000 a month (staff are paid every other week).
- Our utility and contracted services are about $8,500 a month.
- We are trying to reduce or delay other expenses as much as possible (e.g., office expenses, conference commitments, insurance, maintenance, program expenses), but some of these are still necessary.
- To meet our annual Operating budget we need approximately $38,400/month ($8,850/week).
- We will continue to be stewards of the resources we receive and look to God for guidance and direction.
We are grateful for those of you who mailed your offerings or used e-Giving over the last two weeks. We hope and pray that you will continue your financial giving to the church during this time. We also understand that all of us have been impacted, some more than others.
- If you are receiving the same income you had been, please try to maintain your regular giving, even though you are not coming to church, by using one of the methods below.
- If you are receiving less income now, please consider estimating what portion of your income you had been giving each week/month and try to maintain that percentage.
- If you are without income, we are praying for you. Let us know if we can help you in some way.
There are several ways you can give. Please use the way that is most convenient for you.
- E-Giving: www.uticaumc.org/e-giving
- Regular offering envelope: Write a check, add a stamp, and mail it to church.
- E-Banking: Use your personal e-banking to “pay” Utica United Methodist Church.
Additionally, some of our programs are funded by special giving (e.g., MCREST, Easter/Missionaries). We have added these items to select for e-Giving during the period that these programs may be asking for contributions. If you are using your regular offering envelopes, you can indicate these on the line marked “Other Offering for.”
Often during our annual stewardship programs, I have heard people share how God has provided for them during times of need. Some have also shared that when they gave faithfully, God provided for them in ways they couldn’t even imagine. I am reminded of the scripture in Matthew 6:25-34. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? … So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ … But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (NIV)
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me (call 586-731-7667 for more contact info). God is with us. Please do all you can to remain safe and well.
Peace be with you,
Mary Dolenga, Finance Chairperson