The spirit of FCC folks never ceases to amaze me. We’ve been without paid custodial help for a month and lots of people have filled in the gaps. People have vacuumed, dusted, washed, cleaned, changed light bulbs, set up chairs and tables, locked doors, and changed the sign out front. And even though we’ve now hired a part-time cleaning service (see the article on page 4) they haven’t quit. They are still working to get the building in shape so that the hired help can keep the place looking nice.
People always seem to step into the breach when a need arises. The outpouring of support for the victims of Hurricane Katrina is astounding. Government agencies may have dropped the ball, but the compassion of the American people — especially those involved in faith communities — is rushing into the vacuum.
My hope and my prayer is that all of us in this faith community will address a problem right under our own noses with just as much energy and commitment. The problem is twofold:
First, at the end of this year FCC’s budget reserves will be gone. Unless some windfall comes our way we won’t have monies to fill the gap between income and expenses. In other words, the giving of individuals and families must increase or we will be forced to make some unpleasant choices about programs and staff.
Second, FCC is carrying a deficit that needs to be eradicated if we are to get our financial house in order and tackle our proposed renovation project. As we’ve been saying, a mere additional $300 a year per pledging unit over the next two or three years would erase the deficit. Many of you have already contributed to this effort, and I am grateful. My hope is that many more will join forces to fill in this hole.
I realize this isn’t fun, and believe me, I hate writing or talking about it. In fact, the times of the year when we have to discuss money are the parts of my job I like the least. I know that many FCC folks are simply doing all they can do right now, and the cost of living keeps going up for all of us. Heck, before long we’ll have to float a loan just to buy a tank of gasoline.
There are those who say we are living on a champagne budget with a beer income. I disagree. I believe we are doing what God has called us here to do. I see too many good things happening to believe we are being wasteful with our resources. And as I see our church growing and getting stronger and becoming more and more alive, I simply refuse to think God would bring us this far just to leave us cold.
So I have faith in a God of infinite resources, and I have faith in the wisdom and generosity of FCC folks. When you get your estimate of giving card in the mail in a few weeks, instead of thinking of why you can’t fill in the gaps, I hope you will think of how you can.