Our congregation is a significant part of the lives of so many people, and our ministries play such an important role in our community and our region. I know this is as important to you and your family as it is to me – and to so many others.
During 2020, we’ve continued to be faithful.
- After a long search for our next pastor, the hard-working Search Committee identified the Rev. Bethany Meier as the leader God called to lead us forward. After we said “good-bye” to our interim pastor, the Rev. Dr. Donna Cavedon, Bethany and Kelsee arrived on April 1 and quickly made themselves at home among us. We’ve all enjoyed Bethany’s three sermon series on the National Parks, Our New Normal, and Weird Bible.
- Our Faith Action Committee continued to keep us informed about the needs of our community. We’ve helped refugees, the homeless, those with HIV/AIDS, at-risk children, and the Navajo Nation. We’ve provided space for other non-profit groups to meet in our building.
- Our Creation Care Committee proposed and the Board adopted a plan to transition to solar panels as a source of energy for our building.
- We completed much-needed repairs to the roof and siding and plans are underway to upgrade our 60-year-old electrical system.
- Our social media presence has expanded a great deal through the efforts of member Laura Bever and Pastor Bethany, including daily posts, sermons, and sharing among members.
- Our community life has grown, even during this pandemic, with weekly Zoom gatherings for Coffee and Conversation, Spiritual Practices, and a Book Club.
- The children among us are also supported, with the older ones invited to join as full members and to help lead our worship services. Over this past summer, Pastor Bethany partnered with the Unitarian/Universalist Church to provide faith education.
- During 2020, we’ve also faced some challenges, most brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic and the need to “social isolate”. However, we’ve risen to the occasion by adapting and learning to conduct Zoom gatherings and worship services.
At its Fall Retreat, the Board identified several dreams for the coming 2021 year:
- We hope and pray for our congregation to grow ever stronger and more vibrant.
- We hope to be strategic with our time and energy during the pandemic to be ready for the lifting of restrictions in the new year. We aim to adjust our Zoom worship format from time to time to relieve the workload of our faithful musicians, worship leaders, and IT workers.
- We hope to extend our presence in the community with the use of social media, acquiring a professional quality camera, recruiting an intern from the university, inviting progressive college students to join us, and becoming better known as a safe place for LGBTQ folks to gather.
- We hope to continue our outreach to at-risk populations, refugees, the homeless, and those with HIV/AIDS.
- We agreed that we need a prayer list more than ever during these trying times and will soon re-start that practice.
We haven’t been able to worship together and we miss the hugs and energy that being together brings. We long for the day that we can return to worship together in our beautiful sanctuary.
While our doors remain closed, we still have many expenses in order to maintain the ministry to which God has called us. Much of our expense is fixed and doesn’t matter whether we meet in person or online!
We expect that 2021 will be even more challenging given that some of our members will continue to experience loss of income and others will be without access to technology to join us remotely.
Below are charts showing income received through October 31, 2020 and the amount of income we are budgeting for 2021.
These two reflect the year to date (10/31/2020) actual expenses and the 2021 Budgeted Expenses:
In light of these new challenges, the Board of Directors is asking that we all step up to keep our ministry strong. I hope that you will give serious and prayerful consideration to your pledge to support the work of our congregation in the coming year.
When you have made your decision, please fill out the enclosed commitment card and mail it back in the enclosed self-addressed, stamped envelope. Another way to pledge is to go to www.fcclc.org and click the blue “Pledge” button on the lower right (below the green “Give” button).
Please call me if you have any questions or would like to talk this over. May God bless you and your family.
To pledge today, please visit our online pledge form by clicking on the following button.