STEWARDSHIP

2021 Pledge Campaign

Reflecting on the disorienting changes we have all experienced in the past year, we are reminded of the refrain from one of our most-loved hymns:

“Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!” Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed thy hand hath provided, “Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord unto me!

God has indeed been faithful to First Presbyterian Church amid all the upheaval we have seen in the world around us this year. In 2020, God blessed our church with the ability to eliminate our longstanding mortgage debt through the generosity of faithful members like Dot Copenhaver and Marynan Smith, who remembered the church in their wills. We have expanded our ministry far beyond our local region, with investments of new technology and volunteer service to livestream our worship services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many members of our church have sacrificed their time to sew masks, serve on responder teams, and staff the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry during a time of great need. This faithful stewardship of our gifts has also provided crucial food and operational relief to our partner congregations in Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Brazil.

Our ministry has continued even as the world has shifted under our feet, because you have freely given of your God-given time, talents, and financial resources. Even though we have been physically distant from each other for several months now, we have still used our communal gifts to come together in spirit to be a light in the darkness. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 12:

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good…. For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

When each member of the body contributes in faith, we become “More Than the Sum” of our individual efforts. Christ knits us together as a faith community and multiplies our gifts to Him and to our community in ways that we cannot imagine!

Considering how God has blessed us and how faithfully our church has stewarded His gifts, please pray about your financial commitment towards our 2021 pledge goal of $653,000. With visitor and loose offerings expected to be affected well into 2021 as a consequence of continued distancing and lower worship attendance, pledging has never been more important. If each of us pledges as we did for 2020, and others, perhaps, make a pledge for the very first time, we will be able to continue the work of the church utilizing a modest budget reduction for 2021. And if God has blessed you with the ability to give even more, we ask you to consider increasing your pledge to help make up this difference or to cover for a brother or sister whose financial situation doesn’t allow them the same freedom.

If you would like a pledge card, you can download one by clicking on this link: FPC 2021 Pledge Card. You can also call the church office directly (423-764-7176) and talk with our Church Business Administrator, Betsy Galliher, about creating an online pledge account.

Please make your pledge and/or return your 2021 pledge card by Sunday, October 25. You may mail it to the church, place it in the offering at one of our worship services, or drop it off at our offices during normal business hours. On Sunday the 25th we will commit these pledges to God’s service.

For more information about pledging and stewardship, please see our stewardship videos on the FPC Bristol channel on YouTube. Thank you for the generosity of your prayers, service, and commitment to this church and to our community both near and far!

Sincerely,

The FPC Stewardship Committee

Blake Bassett, Rhonda Comer, Chase Mitchell, Laura Ong, Matt Peltier, Karen Pennington, Annette Tudor, & John Vann