Midsummer Financial Update

Current Financial Position of First Congregational Church:
A Midsummer Update from the New Creative Finance Team

Could you use some good news?

You might have expected that church revenue would be down as a result of our building being closed.  That was true starting the middle of March and all through April. No cash gifts were gathered from Sunday service collection plates and no pledges by check dropped off on Sunday mornings. Gifts to special appeals and missions weren’t collected. There are no rental fees from building use.

But by May, it seems many more guests and members have figured out how to keep current with their gifts and pledges (See below for ways to give).  A few additional members, anticipating shortfalls, have made special gifts. The result is the good news: May’s receipts have nearly returned to “normal.” 

Will our gifts continue this way through the summer?  Time will tell (and then we’ll tell you).

Additionally, a few things have covered part of the March and April income shortfalls. The Federal Payroll Protection Program (PPP) funds we’re receiving have helped take care of staff salaries through the end of June. Some expenses like utilities and supplies are down and should continue that way.  

If our personal gifts and pledges continue to be received as they were in May, we’ll be able to meet our top priority: prevent the loss of any of our staff. Our membership includes many whose personal income has not been impacted by the pandemic. They’ve been able to continue paying their church pledges and to all the causes they hold dear. Some members have had their income severely cut, while their expenses have not. Their heart is still with the church; only their ability to give monetarily has changed. Our love for all continues.  

“Attendance” for the Facebook Live Sunday Services (and views during the week) have been much higher than most churches we have surveyed. A warm-hearted THANK YOU to the many people who help put these together each week and continue to grow in their video production skills! It’s obvious that many of you have enjoyed the chance to participate from home (maybe in your pajamas with a cup of coffee or juice during the service?!), some watching more than once, and recommending them to friends and family by sharing them on your own Facebook pages.

Our committee will stay in communication with Church Council as they continue to be prudent with spending. In the weeks ahead, we plan to post easy ways to give to the special offerings as you have in the past. We want to share our blessings. Our team is also tasked with planning our pledge drive for 2021. If you have ideas, let us know.

May peace prevail on Earth, and in your heart

Your Creative Finance Team,

Janet Ott, Chair                 Larry Menninga               Allison Thomas

Jen Sandoval                      Steve Sible                        Bob Schmidt

Steve Lerigny                     Gary Forster                     Sharon Benton

Below are several ways through which you can share your gifts with your church.

Easy Giving

  1.  Click the button Give Now on our website. It’s a simple 2-page form. You can use a credit card or debit card.
  2. Set up online banking payments through your bank account (this saves the church credit card fees). For help, contact the church accountant Renée Relin, accountant@fccb.net, or by phone at 360-734-3720. Renée can also talk with you about automatic withdrawal.
  3. Mail a check to First Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225.  We pick up the mail regularly.
  4. Use the GivePlus app. Download from your app store, set up an account, and give!
  5. Give by text. Text a dollar amount to 208-516-2657 and set up your account. You're ready for easy giving by text!
  6. Give by PayPal. Our easy link is PayPal.Me/fccbucc