This narrative opperating budget reflects our congregation's priorities for mission and ministry. We created this "snapshot" of the current budget so you can see how, collectively, we are making a difference.
Thanks to each of you for helping to make this possible!
Below you will find updates from:
While 2020 has been challeging and is continuing to present numerous challenges to our normal practices, worship is the heart of the Christian faith and the center of our life together as the church. Although we have entered into a new method of worship, it is through prayer, song, scripture and sermon, that we encounter God and are transformed and equipped for God's service in the world. Recognizing that people encounter God in different ways, we use a variety of styles for reading scripture, as well as a variety of voices and instruments to lead worship. This is profoundly true as we continue to adapt our worship to meet the challenges posed by COVID-19. Our pastor and Director of Music Ministries have the primary responsibility for leading worship, with assistance supplemented by leadership from lay liturgists and readers. While we miss the Sanctuary Choir and Young Adult ensemble, we are looking forward to JoyBells and Handbell Choir.
Over the course of this year we have continued our search for our next called pastor, despite obstacles created by COVID-19. The work completed by the ad-hoc team last year illuminated the direction this congregation is going. This year we began by electing our PNC. Ballots were sent out to all members of the congregation and nine names were selected and approved. These nine individuals began their work right away, meeting with the Commission on Ministry liaison, Matthew Glasgow, electing officers, and beginning the daunting task of creating a Ministry Information Form. Again, we sought the input from the congregation, developing and sending out a survey to learn what people like about our congregation and what they want to see in the next pastor. The results of this survey were instrumental in the work of the PNC. Once the Ministry Information Form was developed and approved, candidates began appearing! The PNC has since been thoughtfully, diligently, and most important, prayerfully reviewing each of these candidates to discern who God is calling to this congregation. The PNC’s motivation is in this congregation’s vitality and the direction God is leading us. We look forward to a future of new opportunities, new challenges, new missions, and new experiences. In this difficult time where everything is uncertain and we long for the past when things were simple, we can rest assured with the certainty that God has a future for us, God has a future for First Presbyterian Church of Cumberland!
We strive to provide a variety of education and growth opportunities to people from all ages and walks of life. This past year we have sought to provide the ways to develop and nurture our Christian faith and identity as disciples of Jesus while being separated due to COVID-19. We have continued in depth Bible studies via online platforms and developed a new discussion group within the community to address the tough issues of social and racial inequality. We have also been blessed with the opportunity to provide the daily devotional “These Days” each month to help foster daily spiritual development. As we are approaching the time of Advent we are looking for new and exciting ways to celebrate the coming of Christ in ways that more safely protect our congregants and guests. We look at these perilous and challenging times not with discouragement and hopelessness, rather as an opportunity to learn and grow closer to our provider, God.
This year has challenged all of us, often most notably, in the separation from one another it has caused. Going to church and not singing, hugging, shaking hands, sharing meals! It is deeply painful. Many people in our congregation are at greater risk of this virus and therefore we have greatly reduced the amount of activities we engaged in. However; we adjusted to the new normal and new ways of fellowship and assisting each other came into being. Shortly after the onset of the pandemic, numerous people quickly developed a care list and reached out to a number of congregation members to check on them and offer assistance. We also began a weekly Zoom meeting to share our joys and concerns with one another. Though we couldn’t meet in person we could still enjoy each other’s company. We quickly began reaching out and visiting older members of the congregation and making their wellbeing a top priority. For those in need we have made efforts to stay in touch as well as make and deliver meals. Following up on the successful trip to Sight and Sound Theater last year to see their production of “Jesus,” we were saddened that we could not plan a trip for this year. However, we were able to host a live simulcast of their new production “Queen Esther” which was a great success. We plan on offering a number of other programs in our sanctuary as well in the coming months. As restrictions begin to loosen, we look forward to more fellowship opportunities in person.
The efforts of the Mission Committee are especially needed now as the pandemic effects are experienced locally and globally. As schools were closed globally, our scholarships for children in Pakistan and Lesotho, Africa insured a continuity in education until the classrooms were reopened. We also contribute to the food emergency fund for our students in Lesotho during the current famine. Our partnership with the ECCB church in CZECH republic continues and we support medical and spiritual programs in Nepal and Africa. In Ukraine, the Committee supports, This Child Here, focusing on their family training program.
Locally, the Mission Committee, through Special Ministries, contributed to Barrelville Presbyterian Church for essential repairs. Local programs we continue to support include Interfaith Food Pantry, Family Crisis Resource Center, Allegany Health Right, and United Campus Ministries at Frostburg University. The pandemic caused funds and supply shortages for Union Rescue Mission (URM) and Western Maryland Food Bank. The Mission Committee will collect hygiene supplies for URM and the Western Maryland Food Bank will be included in the 2020 Reason for the Season.
Due to the pandemic, the Ihanktonwan Learning Camp and Summer Lunchbox program could not be held this summer. The monthly outreach dinners in South Cumberland have ended, but the Mission Committee continues to look for ways to help the needy in our community.
The Mission Committee greatly appreciates the time, contributions, and prayers of our congregation that support us during these difficult times. The Committee definitely is experiencing Hope and a Future.
Through our administrative staff, we seek to serve the spiritual needs of the congregation as well as the general ministry needs necessary for the effective and smooth operation of the church. This year we have seen an increase of members using Realm to make their pledges. This can be done by visiting the church website . This year you may also submit your pledge thru the church website.
The Building & Grounds Committee completed several major & minor renovations during 2020. Several areas in the church were scraped, plastered and painted including Brittany’s office, the choir loft closet, the front of the Sanctuary & the front door entrance. The fire doors and stained-glass windows were installed in the Gathering Place in January. The stones and repairs to the rear wall were completed by Valley Masonry. The bank and the wall in the rear were weed-wacked, cleaned and cleared of brush and growth several times this year. A new video screen was installed in the Sanctuary with both manual and remote controls. Bob Kazary will work to cover the new construction with walnut to match the décor of the Sanctuary. Major renovation and restoration are planned for the rear (northside) of the church. Hoyman Painting and Glass Service has been contracted to replace 34 new windows, to install drip edges to the four stained-glass windows, caulk & paint the cinder block on the rear walls. This work is scheduled to be completed in late October or November. The B & G Committee has been working with Zach and the Learning Tree staff to deep clean and disinfect the church to protect the staff, LT students, and church members against the COVID-19 problems.
What Funds our Budget?
Your Giving …………….62.9%
Endowed Funds (Planned Giving)……..33.5%