Talking about money is awkward, but it’s important.
One of the core ways we serve the community is with our wallets. It costs money to feed people, house people, and provide other vital services. Here are some of the ways we use our collective resources to serve those in our neighborhood and around the globe.
If you are a member or friend of First United, we invite you to consider making regular giving to First United Church a part of your spiritual practice. We are currently in the midst of our 2014 Stewardship Campaign. More information about giving and a printable copy of the 2014 commitment card will be coming soon.
First United Church Love Fund
Once upon a time, people in need could stop in at almost any church and ask the pastor for help from a discretionary fund. These days, churches rely more on community agencies to do this kind of urgent assistance. At First United, we partner with community agencies to assist those who are falling through the cracks. We receive anywhere from five to ten phone calls a day from people seeking assistance with rent, utilities, deposits, medical bills, gas, car repairs, groceries, and more. We work with community agencies to get referrals that verify the need of the person making the request, and then we help where we can. We don’t give money directly to individuals; instead, for example, we would write a check to the water company on a person’s behalf. This is meant to be one-time emergency assistance.
How much money? In 2012, the Love Fund provided over $9,000 to local people in direct aid.
How to give: Note “Love Fund” in the memo of your check to First United Church or on your offering envelope.
Each fall, we work together as a congregation to come up with our annual operating budget for the coming year. Our Board of Outreach helps us identify local agencies we want to support with funds from our annual budget. Some of the area nonprofits we’ve supported include Monroe County United Ministries, Amethyst House, Community Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Middle Way House, and My Sister’s Closet.
How much money? In 2012, we gave just over $15,000 from our operating budget.
How to give: Any time you give to First United Church, part of your offering will go to these agencies.
Throughout the year, we are invited to participate in one-time offerings. Some of these, like One Great Hour of Sharing and Neighbors in Need, connect us with others in our denominations and allow us to help people around the globe. Others, like the offerings we take at Christmas Eve and Candlelight Communion, help local agencies. We also have the opportunity to support special events like the CROP Walk in October and the Homeward Bound walk in April.
How much money? In 2012, we raised over $16,000 with our special offerings.
How to give: It varies by offering. Look for information in the weekly announcements.
Just Being Here
In addition to all these checks we’re writing, we support the community simply by existing. Our building is used weekly by various nonprofits that need a place to meet or hold a special event. Our clergy and our members interact with the community daily, looking for places where we can help as individuals or a group. It is our hope that First United is a place where people of all ages can come to be challenged and supported as they struggle with what it means to be faithful followers of Christ and just plain, decent human beings as we all figure out how to best take care of each other.