Why We Give
We give because God loves us. We cannot help but say “thank you” to Jesus with our hearts, our lives, and our gifts. It is the response of a disciple.
We give because it is a way to worship and see the transformative power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We give because every gift given to God through Ebenezer is an investment in changing lives. Your generosity supports student and children’s ministries, worship, baptisms, mission trips, hunger initiatives, and discipleship programs, as well as electricity and building maintenance.
We give because giving strengthens our sense of connection. We see firsthand the change God brings to our lives, our church, and our community through sacrificial giving.
We encourage our church family to give a percentage of their income in gratitude to God, following the Biblical model of a tithe. Thank you for your contribution and commitment to God.
Pastor Emily Moore-Diamond
Your Giving In Action
Your giving connects you to everything God is doing through Ebenezer. Scroll down to see how your generosity impacts our church, our community, and the world.
Tuesdays at the Park
Summer Mission Trip
Stellar Vacation Bible School
Meet Your Finance Committee
Your 2023 Finance Committee (left to right): Will Stormer, Mark Zoepfl, Barry Mills, Henk de Jager, Mark Lurch, Pat McGuckin, B.J. Priest, Tina DeBoeser, Bob Porzeinski, Pastor Emily, Tom Jackson (Chair), Chad Breeden, Chris Engleright. The Finance Committee meets the fourth Monday of each month and is responsible for: planning and implementing ways to generate more resources for mission and ministries; compiling the annual budget and submitting it to the Governing Board for approval; establishing financial policies; monitoring the receipt and distribution of funds; and commissioning annual financial reviews.
It is now August, more than halfway through the year. The financial results through June were reviewed at our July meeting. The good news is expenses are currently lower than what we planned; however, we also learned that offerings are below what we expected and that causes us concern.
The results of a midyear forecast completed by the church staff also show that while spending will be less than planned, offerings are also projected to be less than budgeted. The church is now planning for a deficit of about $522,000, which is 5% more than originally thought (see graph below).
The church has planned for budget deficits since 2018, and the extraordinary circumstances of COVID and federal funding programs have both negatively and positively impacted our bottom line. As we sought to faithfully navigate the unpredicted challenges, we were hesitant to make major changes. COVID impacted many churches with a reduction in pre-COVID engagement and giving. We have felt that impact as well. Knowing that we have investment income as an added resource (though insufficient to cover all deficit balances), our leadership has intentionally approved budgets with an expected deficit to provide time to reassess priorities and develop a measured approach. We are now some distance from the height of COVID and discern the time is now to reduce the projected deficit.
There are two ways to eliminate the deficit: increasing giving and reducing spending. We need to do both over the next several years to produce a balanced budget. Please prayerfully consider increasing your giving to help move us toward that goal.
Just like your personal budget, the finances of the church must be managed carefully to ensure we stay on the right track. Our staff is striving to manage expenses while providing opportunities for ministry and spiritual growth, but we are still lacking sufficient donations to support our mission. While first quarter donations were on budget, we must remember that we are operating with a deficit budget, meaning that our annual plan shows expenses higher than income. We could use your help to close this gap. Your Finance Committee is exploring ways to regularly share the status of our finances so you can prayerfully consider your contributions to the church. As Henk de Jager said at the State of the Church meeting in February, if every family reading this newsletter gave an additional $60 each month, we would erase our deficit. Will you consider bumping up your giving this year?
We finished 2022 with a shortfall of approximately $374,000. However, with government assistance and investment income, the end of year result was a net income of $9,310. More information about 2022 expenses, income, and giving are available on our 2022 Annual Report at ebenezerumc.org/state-of-the-church.
We started 2023 with a budgeted shortfall of $499,799, but we are working to greatly reduce that amount through prayer, God’s guidance, and sound financial management. Watch for ideas and requests from the Finance Committee throughout the year. We will keep you informed on our progress through regular communication.
Our church has survived and thrived for 167 years. Let’s make sure we continue to do so in the future. Please remember that every gift makes a difference. Thank you in advance for your stewardship.