To God’s holy people at First Methodist Conroe:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:1-6, NIV).
As we have seen in our Fall sermon series, Return to Sender, the letters of Paul overflow with thanks and praise to God for the faithfulness of the church. Indeed, like Paul, I echo his words to the church in Philippi. I truly do thank my God for First Methodist Conroe and when I think about the ministry that God has set before us I am filled with joy, encouragement, confidence and hope.
Together, we have been through much over these past 18 months; the pandemic, pastoral transitions, retirements, exciting adjustments in lay and staff leadership along with all of the normals ups and downs of life. But when I consider what God has done through the people of First Methodist Conroe over these past 151 years, there has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears (Philippians 1:6, The Message). This is God’s promise to us, that our best days are not behind us but are always yet to come!
Though worship, prayer and generosity, you have demonstrated your belief in the same. With expectant hope and confidence you have remained certain in the work God is doing here and have financially given what Paul calls, a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God (Philippians 4:18, NIV).
As a reflection of this, I want to give you an update on where we are at present. Our lay leadership and finance teams went into 2021 unsure of what we might face and where we might be as a church. We determined that if we could maintain a level of giving that was at least 85% of what it was in 2019 we could make it through the year with a fairly modest impact on our cash reserves. Our giving through October 2021 is 91% of what it was for the same period in 2019 – so we exceeded our hope in that.
However, we have had to tap into our excess operating cash for just over $200K to fund our ministry efforts. That said, the expenses as of the end October are below our ministry budget projections as the staff continues to work as efficiently, effectively and missionally in regard to monies spent. As of now, this leaves us with an operating cash balance of $300K, and an additional cash reserve of $110K. This is good news.
As we move through November and into December we are hopeful that your generosity will carry us through with minimal additional impact on these cash reserves. Your giving in the coming weeks is needed, not only to finish out this year well, but to launch into what will be an exciting 2022.
This week, as you offer up thanksgiving to God, I invite to give a Thanksgiving offering in proportion to the gratitude you have for God’s ongoing work in our church, our community, your family, and your life. Enclosed you will find an envelope to present your offering through the mail, in person on Sunday or you may give online at fmconroe.org/give.
My family and I will join you in that, giving God thanks for you and for all that God has done and yet to do at First Methodist Conroe.
With gratitude and thanksgiving,
at First Methodist Conroe