Because love…100% of the Session has increased their annual financial commitments to First Presbyterian this year. We encourage everyone to increase their annual appeal pledges this year by 10% – if finances allow you to do so – to allow us to continue and expand upon the phenomenal work being done by our talented pastoral team and staff.
I’ve asked each Session member to share why they give to First Presbyterian. Please read below:
“As a serving elder at First Presbyterian, I have had the privilege of learning about all that our church is doing for our community and the world – because love. When considering poverty and the deep sorrow that many are suffering from, often we conclude that there’s nothing we can do. The scale of poverty and sorrow is immense, and we seem powerless to stop it. Such despair is understandable, but facts tell a different story. Even small donations have the potential to drastically improve an individual’s quality of life. Our pocket change can become powerful when pooled together. Because of this, I am increasing my giving next year – because love!” ~ Debbie Barnes
“My wife Natalie and I joined FPC over a decade ago in large part because of the expansive list of passionate local service efforts focused on feeding, educating, housing, and compassionately supporting our local community. Since joining, we have discovered so many additional reasons why FPC deserves and receives our continuous financial support and “sweat equity.” Giving ourselves to those in need is who we strive to be as both citizens of the world and as Spacious Christians. Additionally, we want our children to be surrounded and inspired by these efforts of love as they mature and develop their own personal faith statements and service philosophies. We cannot imagine a better set of mentors for our children than the amazingly energetic, loving, and committed FPC congregation. ‘All Are Welcome, Always’ resonates powerfully with our personal beliefs of accepting and supporting all. We attend weekly services and contribute behind the scenes in multiple ways because we believe FPC is indeed a ‘Force of Love,’ and we want to be part of the light shining from our congregation. We are grateful for the opportunity to experience the uplifting and motivating energy that is present in all of FPC’s great work. We encourage all of you to support FPC to keep these important efforts moving – as well as to explore how you might get involved with something at FPC that resonates with your personal interests!” ~ Steve Hummel
“Poet David Whyte once wrote that the antidote to fatigue is not rest but rather ‘whole-heartedness.’ I give to First Pres because love is the way I can deal with my fatigue and powerlessness for the brokenness and pain in the world and my life. Because love is how I can give wholeheartedly to missions at home and abroad; to spiritual development for all; to 7@7; to the children and youth ministries supporting those who will be our future; to supporting elders, of which I am one now! Because I’m so fatigued, I am increasing my wholeheartedness through giving next year…all because of love. I urge you to try wholeheartedness too…because love!” ~ Jane Kirkpatrick
“It is important to give and support the church’s work through the annual appeal because the church is like my second family, and I believe in supporting my family. Not only does the church provide spiritual inspiration and support to me, but it also has a great mission outreach program in our local community and internationally. In addition, I think it is vital to pledge rather than to just give sporadically. Just as I need to know how much I am getting each month throughout the year so that I know how to plan my expenses, so does the church. In conjunction with giving financially, I also donate my time. I have found substantial fulfillment by helping with various church activities, and I have met so many wonderful people through that work. There are many ways in which we can all volunteer our time to help the church’s important work continue to flourish, and I encourage you to find yours!” ~ Sharon Lichti
“I pledge and contribute to First Presbyterian because I believe in and and want to support the many good things that are done by the staff and congregation. Personally, I can only be part of a few local and international programs, but by financially supporting First Pres, I feel part of all the important mission work being done by our congregation. Recently, I learned a really cool way to contribute to First Pres. Since I am now 70 1/2, I have minimum required distributions from my IRA. By having my monthly contributions sent directly from my financial institution to First Pres, they are tax-free. Of course, there are more details to this process, and I’m happy to share them with anyone who’s interested – or you may wish to talk to your financial organization and/or tax advisor regarding how this method might work for you!” ~ Michael Maidl
“Especially in these times, with the current political rhetoric that tries to divide us, it is important to have a place that embodies love – to each other, to our community, and to our world. First Presbyterian is that place for me. The support I am able to provide helps to ensure the love we create and nurture is there for others and ourselves.” ~ Kat Mastrangelo
“Like the stability of a tripod, there are three legs that keep our church standing and healthy:
- Preserving, honoring, and respecting our heritage.
- Active involvement in supporting current community, regional, and global needs.
- Vision of what the future can be, and building a foundation now for future needs.
We the congregation are enabled to act by three assets:
- Ties to our denomination.
- A building and grounds for a local base of operations.
- A talented staff to orchestrate, encourage, balance, and communicate the work we support.
Nothing happens without active involvement on our part, binding it all together:
- With our participation in congregational and community activities.
- Through the use of our time and talents in whatever areas we can contribute.
- Via our financial offerings.
As the cost of keeping everything in balance and continuing to support all needs increases over time, I am increasing my financial contributions as I can. Because basic operating costs require regular ongoing funds be available, I give monthly through our convenient electronic option.” ~ Don Mercer
“I’m a 20-year-old college student who had the opportunity to grow up in this wonderful church and see firsthand how the congregation’s generous financial giving impacts communities locally and around the world. It is the reason that I give to the church. Even if I’m unable to give as much as I’d want to financially, I donate my time. It is not only a rewarding experience for me, but it’s also a tangible way that I can make a difference in the world.” ~ Samantha Nelson
“I learned about giving from my mom, who raised three daughters entirely on her own with very limited resources. As a teen, I became aware that mom’s donations to our tiny Presbyterian church in Newark, NJ, were extremely regular. I remember clearly how she filled her donation envelope on payday and made sure it got delivered to the church on time – even if she was not able to attend that Sunday. All of this was accomplished using cash; Mom was too unsophisticated to trust herself with a checkbook. Having been dragged into the computer age kicking and screaming, it took me many years before I could force myself to trust online banking. What a simple way to assure that I follow in Mom’s footsteps: All I have to do is send the magic genie a message to deliver 1/12 of my annual pledge each month and voila! it arrives in the church’s office on time. I can sleep soundly, knowing that Mom’s beautiful tradition continues on!” ~ Joan Roane
“I donate to First Presbyterian Church for the simple reasons. I like to keep the lights and heat on in the building for the great people who show up day after day to do God’s work. I’m a practical person, and I’m also the person who pays the bills in our household, so keeping the building running comes to mind first. Additionally, I choose to donate to the church’s general fund in particular because I trust that Session will make good, loving, inclusive decisions to keep our finances solvent and continue to do the wonderful outreach that helps so many in our community and beyond. As a nurse, I first heard about FP because of the multitude of ways that it supports children in our community. Lastly, attending FPC fills my soul, and I know that couldn’t happen without money. To me, it’s simple.” ~ Cynthia Serra
As always, grateful to serve you and serve with you,