From the Pastor

I want to start this article out by saying thank you for your continued dedication to First United Methodist Church – Deming and supporting her through your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness. Sound familiar? It should. This is one part of the vows that we take when we become members of The United Methodist Church. So, thank you for doing what you do for God’s church and yours.

Vow is a strong word. Many of us think of it as a promise, and it is that. Yet at the same time, it is so much more than that. According to the Oxford Dictionary, vow is defined as a solemn promise to do a specified thing or dedication to something. So, yes, it is a promise, but it is a strong promise. It is something we are dedicated to. A vow carries weight with it. Once it is made there is an expectation that the person making the vow will constantly follow through with their commitment as the other party relies on their faithfulness. We can see this in the traditional marriage vows where each party solemnly promises to remain faithful to the other party through thick and thin…in the good times and in the difficult times, or as they actually read “Will you love him/her, comfort him/her, honor and keep him/her, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to him/her as long as you both shall live?”[1] A vow something that we support with everything we have, including our lives and livelihoods.

When we joined the church we made a similar solemn promise. We vowed to support our church through thick and thin. We promised our faithfulness in all things and all seasons. I know that is sometimes easy and other times it is very difficult. This season in the life of our church is one of the difficult ones, for many reasons. Our church is struggling through the effects of disaffiliation, unprecedented inflation, and an aging congregation. If that is not enough, it is summer which brings its own struggles for the church. It is a great time for our families to be together and to travel. That is great! We all need to do that from time to time. But it has a profound effect on the church. We miss your physical presence. There is a hole left empty where you and your family normally are. We miss the things you do for your church, even those things you don’t think are a really big deal. Yes, we make do but it is almost always the case of finding a last-minute replacement. And we miss your gifts in whatever form they take on – physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, and financial.

Church finances during the summer months are always difficult. When people are gone doing their summer family things, they frequently don’t stop to think about getting their tithes and offerings to the church. When you are not in attendance, it is easy to forget to write a check, right? But, imagine what would happen if your employer just didn’t pay you one week. Could you survive? Most likely, you could in the short term. But what if your employer missed two or three or more paychecks? It wouldn’t take very long before we were all struggling even for the very basics of life. This is what happens to your church each time you withhold your tithes and offerings, whether it is because you are gone for a Sunday or have hard feelings toward the denomination or anything in between.

It is time now to band together and uphold our church through this time. I know none of us has extra money right now. Me included. Yet, I have learned that somehow there is enough for everything I need when I give God God’s portion first. It is no secret that our church is struggling financially right now. We may not turn the corner completely until we get more people in the pews, but when we all pull together – when we give God’s portion to the church before we pay any bills or go out to dinner or buy that new shirt or the car we’ve had our eyes on for a while – we can make it through this season and beyond.

[1] The United Methodist Publishing House, “A Service of Christian Marriage 1,” The United Methodist Book of Worship: Pastor’s Pocket Edition (Nashville, TN: The United Methodist Publishing House, 1992), 20.

Blessings to you all!

Pastor Koreen

 

 

June Budget Figures

Needed Each Week to Meet Budget:              $4,462.00

Received Week of June 30th                            $2,452.00

Budget Deficit for Week of May 19th              $2,010.00

 

Needed Each Month to Meet Budget:          $19,333.00

Received in June                                            $15,285.00

Budget Deficit for Month of May                    $4,048.00

 

Budgeted Year-to-Date                                 $115,998.00

Received Year-to-Date                                  $83,747.00

Budget Deficit Year-to-Date                          $32,251.00