300 East Wayne Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
(260) 422-4681
firstwaynestreet@fwsumc.org

Online Giving

Going beyond the numbers

I was never good at personal budgeting. I would, however, balance my checkbook and follow my dad’s advice to live within my means. As someone whose faith journey is not a straight path but one of ups and downs and switchbacks, I did not always attend church. When I finally got onto a better path, I joined a church, attended on a regular basis and got involved. When it came time to pledge, I sweated over “is it based on before or after-tax income,” am I able to tithe 10% or get to close to it? What if there is not enough left for moi??

The multinational company I worked for required not only an annual budget, which is extremely rational, but also updates to the budget several times throughout the year. Running various budget update iterations gave us finance people most of our raison d’etre. All that work went into a simple calculation of total revenue less total expenses that could give cause for alarm or generate a sigh of relief.

For FWSUMC, the simple calculation of total revenue less total expenses is best viewed not as profit or loss but as net cash positive or negative. The past several years, the church has been in a net cash negative position. Recent cash deficits as well as the 2023 anticipated deficit are draining the cash reserves that were built up during the pandemic when the church received funds from the Payroll Protection Plan program to pay for part of the staff’s salaries. I believe you as the congregation need to be aware of this situation.

Simply put, FWSUMC is not yet operating within its means. I say “not yet” because there are so many great things happening at the church that hold so much hope and optimism for the future. 

Our greatest resource – our wonderful staff of four full-time and six part-time staff -brings the church building to life with meaningful worship, inspiring music, streaming worship services and WOW concerts, fellowship and numerous programs nurturing spiritual growth, development of faith and first-hand mission experiences as well as all the back office and custodial support. 

And let’s not forget the five or so child care workers who tend to our little ones. And you, the congregation, contribute your time, talents and treasures faithfully each year in addition to just being a welcoming and supportive community that radiates Jesus’ love.

I am grateful to be part of this church community.

By the way, there was always enough left for “moi” because tithing changed my perspective.

Marcia Futter

Chair, Finance Committe