Fourth Quarter Financial Update

We had excellent Ministry Gatherings and an annual meeting last week.
It is clear to me that the congregation is excited and supportive of our minis-
tries. The 2023 budget passed overwhelmingly. The congregation elected Jason
Fox, Larry Bagley and Terry Hjelkrum to serve on Council for the next three
years. I am so appreciative of the excitement and energy around our ministries.
There is a lot of momentum, and we are making a difference in people’s lives.
Thank you for your support and trust.

Now we turn our attention to the current year and our need to finish strong in fulfilling our commitment to funding First Lutheran’s ministries. You should have received your third quarter financial statement where I shared with you that we are about $128,000 behind expenses for the year. We typically see a decline in giving in the third quarter, but this year’s was exceptional and will require our attention as we finish the year. In the next three months we will need to raise $651,193.00 to cover the deficit and fully fund ministry in the 4th quarter. Here’s how we can do that. First, I’ve asked the staff to tighten up expenses and forgo some of the plans we had (for example we won’t be sending out a newsletter to the Old North End this quarter). This will help, but before we do anything more consequential, I want to come to you to see what you might be willing to do. My family has thought through this ourselves and determined what steps we will take. We had already planned to increase our giving by $200 per month for next year and now we will begin that increase this month. In addition, we are going to give a donation of $500 to contribute to the efforts to finish strong. Would you consider joining us in something similar that makes sense to your family income and budget?

I believe in this ministry and am determined to move forward rather than cut back, if possible. God is using First Lutheran to bring people to faith, help those in need and serve as an example to the larger church that our best days remain ahead of us. We are a bright spot in the post pandemic church landscape as a healthy and vibrant congregation. We have a reputation in the city for being generous and mission minded. Our children and youth are learning to follow Jesus and serve as ambassadors of Christ. I think the world needs more, not less, of what is happening here at First Lutheran. I’m confident that we will meet this challenge as we have done in the past. It may be a bit harder because of inflation, but First Lutheran has a history of beating the odds and surprising with generosity. I’ll keep you updated as we go forward. Thank you for your excitement and engagement with this ministry. Let’s finish strong!

If you’d like to give online, click here!

-Pastor Travis

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