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May 20, 2020

Dear friends,

This week’s update is primarily financial. While the business of the church is not always the most engaging part of our life together, it is vitally important to supporting and sustaining our life together! The Finance Committee is committed to frequent and straightforward communication about our financial position and planning. This year’s committee members and leadership are as follows:

Leadership Chair: Jim Deichert Church Treasurer: Pete Eisemann Financial Secretary (ex-officio): Lori Cora Pastor (ex-officio): Rev. Susan Allen Grady Members by virtue of position: Lay Leader: Rachel Fullerton Lay Delegate to Annual Conference: Judy Campbell Chair, Administrative Council: Todd Messick Chair, Staff-Parish Relations Com.: Stacy Bradfield Chair, Board of Trustees: Andy Strain

Class of 2020:

Jim Deichert Mark Wyatt Bonnaleta Malone

Class of 2021:

Roger Lee

Suzanne Segler

Jim McGarrah

Class of 2022:

Dave Scruggs

Karen Fullerton

Karen Wheel Carter

The news continues to be positive, very positive. We had a $16,000 surplus in April, and that gives us a $33,000 surplus for the year to date. Tithes and offerings for the first four months are about $15,000 higher than for the same period in 2019. This is amazing! While it is true we have had a few large gifts, and some members may have accelerated their financial gifts, revenue is very strong. This is despite the drop in rental income caused by groups being unable to use our building.

The expense trend for the year has also been good. The table on the next page lists the expenses relative to budget for each of our major budget areas. All areas are below budgeted amounts. We are current on our missional giving, such as monthly support of NETWorks. We have exactly paid the required Apportionments: a term which describes how the money you give to our church each week is divided and distributed throughout the United Methodist Church. (Through Apportionments, we are able to participate in the ministry and mission of the United Methodist Church both locally and around the world, supporting ministries like the World Service Fund, Camp Glisson, and the pension program for retired United Methodist Clergy.)

Our ability to stay current with apportionments and our other obligations for missions and ministry operations is due in part to a drop in our expenses, such as utilities, janitorial supplies, and nursery expenses. We are very grateful for the good management of expenses by our staff and volunteers. In addition, you have provided when the church has been in need. We have particularly noted that online giving has increased significantly. If you have not already done so, consider switching to online giving and making your gift recurring so that you don't have to remember to give and your giving is consistent throughout the year.

The Committee on Finance is committed to the church’s budget and processes being open and transparent at all times. Yyou are welcome to have a copy at any time. The only part of our church's budget that is confidential is the SPRC budget, which includes staff compensation. Feel free to contact our Church Treasurer, Pete Eisemann (678) 438-7393,, or our Financial Secretary, Lori Cora (770) 337-3646,, to receive a copy of the budget and to ask any questions you may have regarding our church’s financial position.

The church applied for the Payroll Protection Program loan several weeks ago and has been approved and received the funds. We are required to use 75% of those funds to fund our church payroll. This will allow the teachers in our Preschool and Kindergarten to be paid for the remainder of the school year. This is very good because our teachers are the backbone of our preschool ministry, and our preschool is known throughout our community and beyond with a reputation for excellence in teaching and care. It is a very important part of the overall ministry of the church.

Finally, I would like to thank you for what you are doing to keep our ministries vital and strong. I feel deeply the challenges we are facing just as you do. I pray for guidance and wisdom every day just as you do. I also thank God every single day that I have been sent to this community of faith to be your pastor. Together, we are offering so much to our community, even without what has been our second most valuable ministry asset: our church building.

You are our most valuable ministry asset. You are the ones offering grace and peace to our community and beyond in an uncertain and frightening time. You are the ones modeling the love and compassion of Christ. You are the ones looking for and sharing hope. You inspire me and make me want to be even more committed in my own faith. I am more grateful for you than I could ever express.

Things will likely never be exactly as they were before the pandemic became reality. Corrie ten Boom wrote, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” With you as my partners in faith, I am not afraid.



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