First Connections December 21, 2016

First Connections – December 21, 2016

First Baptist Church Shawnee

Be Disciples. Make Disciples.

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:1-3

 

 

Christmas Services and Office Hours:

 Christmas Eve Candlelight Service: Dec. 24 at 5:00 pm (no nursery)

Christmas Morning Service: Dec. 25 at 10:45 am (includes the Lord’s Supper)

New Year’s Day: Jan. 1; morning service at 10:45 am

No Sunday School, evening service, or other activities – Dec. 25 or Jan. 1

Church office will be closed Dec. 23, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 for the holidays.

Office hours December 27-30 will be 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.

 

Preaching Sunday, December 25 in the Morning Worship – Jonathan Singleton

Miracles of the Christ Event, Luke 1:26-35, 2:8-16; John 3:3

 

Kids are invited to wear their comfy clothes or P.J.s Sunday morning for worship.

 

 

From message to the church on Sunday, December 18, 2016

Good morning, and greetings from the Finance Committee.  It’s no secret as you look at the bulletin each week or attend a business meeting that we are running behind budgeted tithes and offerings.  As of 11-30, or 8 months into the church year, we are almost $120,000 short of budget, but more importantly, we are short of covering expenses by almost $90,000.  This follows a trend that began last year when annual expenses exceeded tithes and offerings by $22,000.  We have had strong giving Decembers for many years, and we pray that will be the case this year, but we still project expenses will exceed revenues by $100-125,000 by the end of the church year in March. 

Budget requests from committees for the 2017-18 church year have been received and the Finance Committee will begin our work to prepare and present a budget to the church for approval in February.  By necessity, the budget will have to reflect a forecast for tithes and offerings based on recent giving patterns. 

There is good news!  (1)From years of plenty we have significant cash reserves to draw from although our goal obviously is to meet current year expenses with current year revenues.  (2) We have no debt and haven’t had in over 30 years. (3) The church celebrates 125 years of service next year and while there have been many years of plenty, there have also been difficult times for the church.  We are just in one of those difficult times. 

As we convene every month to review the finances we get regular monthly reports that include individual account details, bar charts, trend reports and any custom reports we request.  Sometimes I get lost in the numbers and forget that there are people, programs, and ministries behind the numbers. 

The Bible mentions money over 800 times in the Old and New Testaments and more than ½ of Jesus’ parables mention money or make it the theme of the passage.  (We are all familiar with Jesus’ story of the widow’s mite in Mark). 

Rather than think about uncomfortable sermons and the admonition to tithe, I like to think about giving this way:  If we asked “how do we spend our time and money and what does that tell us about where our heart is” and made adjustments based on that litmus test, the “how much should I give” part will take care of itself over time. 

We have all been blessed – maybe with money, good health, family, or recovery from a serious illness.  We all have our own unique financial and life circumstances.  We are simply called to give as we have been blessed. 

In Proverbs 3 it says “honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first fruits of all your produce, and your barns will be filled with plenty. 

Please direct any questions about the budget or the Church’s finances to Tony McMurry, Terry Hopkins, Jim Hansford, Sam Garlow, Roger Henson, or Dee Ann Schroyer. 

 

 

GIVING TREE

Thank you for helping to make the Giving Tree a success again this year. Your generosity provided Christmas gifts/visits for approximately 95 people.

 

 

Year– End Contribution Policy

Bring any 2016 contributions in person to the FBC church office no later than 10:00 am on Friday, December 30. In order to comply with IRS regulations, any mailed 2016 contribution to FBC must be postmarked by December 31, 2016. Contributions postmarked after this date (even if the check is written in 2016) must be reported as 2017 contributions. IRS guidelines require that members who wish to itemize deductions must have a copy of the church’s contribution report when filing an income tax return. Reports will be available in January.

 

 

Yahweh Yoga

We plan to start back in January. Please email Jamie Hembree if you are interested and to let her know when would be a good time/day for you.

 

 

Ray and Sarah – new address:

441 Rochelle Drive, Nashville, TN 37220

 

 

Give Online. It’s Easy!

FBC is excited to announce that you can now manage your giving On-Line! Giving On-Line is easy and allows you to set up automatic recurring contributions and view your complete giving history from anywhere you have internet access. Go to our website www.firstshawnee.com/give for more details.

 

 

DON’T FORGET!

If you move or change your phone number or email address, please contact us at the church office so we can make the changes to the church directory and database. (Call 275-6111 or email firstshawnee@gmail.com) Thank you!  Mary