Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.
Luke 6:38 NIV
Carrie Wright - Music and Worship Arts
This year has been an incredible year of rebuilding in the music and arts area of WCUMC. With such generous giving and commitment from the congregation we have been able to re-organize and upgrade many of our systems and processes in order to make worship even more dynamic and vibrant. We have used our portion of the budgeted monies to upgrade the entire livestream process which now reaches people all up and down the eastern side of the United States and beyond. We have upgraded our instruments, paid a consultant to help us remap our entire sound system, added to our Holy Week experience by the choir leading John Rutters Requiem and soon we will be performing Handel’s Messiah, allowing the Word of God to reach many in our community who might find their place through that work in worship this Advent. We are able to purchase creative design supplies bringing life and energy to the services and we have the music/technology available now to connect many new members of our praise team, kids choirs, handbells, and chancel choir. We are grateful for the gifts of the congregation and look forward to all the ways we can dream to worship and serve God through the arts next year.
Monica Humpal - Engagement
As far as impact, I'd like to share that the purchase of online streaming equipment and the new streaming platform has allowed me a chance to engage our online audience, which could have a significant impact when it comes to spreading the Gospel beyond our four walls.
When I think of how generosity of giving in the congregation is bearing fruit in Adult Ministries, I am quickly reminded of how beautifully blessed WCUMC is able to grant FREE membership access to RightNow Media to anyone in our congregation. We also have the ability to host online Bible studies through our Corporate Zoom Accounts as well as order Bible Study Curriculum Leader Kits for any of our facilitators in need. The generous giving also allows us to host a speaker from Proverbs 31 Ministries for our annual WWW Christmas Brunch. Lastly, we also don't charge participants for the Divorce Care and Griefshare workbooks in order to help them through the very difficult time they are experiencing.
The generosity of WCUMC has really created fertile ground for some incredible growth in the youth program this past year. First, the time and investment into updating the youth house has helped create a space that the youth are excited to use. The God Cave has gotten a huge makeover and now has a stage and altar area to be used for worship on Sunday nights. New canvases have been hung to celebrate the great times had over the last year. Huge bean bags have been added to create a comfortable environment. A new TV, lights, and sound system have been added to help expand the possibilities of what we can do with programming. Several of the women’s circles have put in lots of time and energy in decorating the house to make it a warm and inviting place to gather.
When we put our time and resources into a renovation like we have this past year; it sends a message to our young people that we care about them, and we are seeing the results of those messages! Both our Sunday morning Sunday school time and our Sunday night time has seen an increase in not only the number of youth we are seeing, but the consistency in which we are seeing them. When youth are comfortable in their environment, they tend to open up faster and be more trusting.
The mission trips this summer are a perfect example of growth does not just come in numerical form. We had 6 youth attend our HS trip to West Virginia and 10 youth attend our MS trip to Kentucky. Before these trips, only 5 or 6 of the 16 I would have considered “regular” attenders. Now, 14 of those 16 are regular attenders. I saw tremendous growth in each of these youth in a number of ways. 1. I saw all of them grow in empathy and care for others. 2. I saw them grow in community and relationships. 3. Most importantly, I saw them showing a hunger for God and faith that many were not displaying before. One of the youth made the comment on the way home from the trip “Before this mission trip, I really didn’t care to come to church too much, but I realize I was only looking for fun. I found youth fun, but something just was missing. Now I don’t want to miss a week, not because I don’t want to miss the fun, but I want to grow in my faith. I figured out it isn’t about me.” Another youth shared a similar sentiment. His family had made a move in the last year and he says he just wasn’t feeling like this was home. He was strongly considering going back to his old youth program, though it was further away. Now, he considers this home and these are “his people.” He not only attends regularly, but is now part of the student leadership team that is helping plan our programming for Sunday nights.
In my experience, mission trips are one of our best tools to develop community and a sense of belonging with youth, but more importantly, the consistently serve as a spring board to a deeper faith for teens. These mission trips do not happen without the financial support of the church. The budget is used for all travel expenses on the trip and fundraisers (the Souper Bowl fundraiser brought in over $7000!) help offset the cost of the trip for the youth. These trips are not cheap, but they are absolutely worth the investment.
Through the generous gifts from the congregation we are able to:
- provide childcare for Bible studies and volunteer opportunities, to allow people to attend who may not be able to otherwise
- offer free Vacation Bible School, for children to come learn about the love of Christ
- present personalized Bibles for our third graders
- host events, like Easter and Christmas events, that bring the community to our church
The impact your contributions make on every aspect of what I do here is vital. Without the donations we could not offer the snacks halftime which leads to stronger relationships and community within our walls each week. We could not support all the missions we value without the money to host Wednesday night dinners which again offers a time for fellowship. We wouldn’t have the ability to show up and “be the church” for people that don’t have a church in a time of need. Stella Brights funeral is a prime example of us showing up to be the church together and we cannot do that without you. 5th Sundays is something that happens because of your faithfulness to the church and allows me the opportunity to put activities/events on to bring the church as a whole together to again “be the church” as one. I’m super proud to call this church “my church” and have enjoyed the people I have gained from being here. We each have our part in being the church and no matter what it is or at what level it all makes a difference. Thank you for your faithfulness to WCUMC and to all the things we do because of your generosity!
I am so thankful and grateful for the dedicated members of our church for their giving to help support of our facilities. Without the faithfulness we would not have been able to replace the ceiling in our children area when part of it collapsed. We could not have raised a sidewalk when weather made it sink causing a safety issue. We could not have added a handrail in the center of our outside steps to the sanctuary along with lights. We could not paint areas and replace carpet when its needed.
When I came to WCUMC a little over 5 years ago, it was very obvious that this was a church body that loved to give! Your joy in giving is clearly seen in all the many ways, both big and small, that you give to provide funds for ministries and programs within the church, as well as outwardly to our community and to the greater world.
Most specifically, the positive impact of your generous giving to budget needs is evident in our children’s music programming. We are fully funded to provide quality preschool and grade school music curricula for Cherub and Praise Kids Choirs. You also provide resources for our fully staged Christmas Musical every year. What you don’t always see is how well equipped our music classroom is with instruments and manipulatives that our children use every week in their choir times. From boomwhackers to Orff instruments, drums to jingle bells – we have a well-stocked resource room, filled with musical instrument opportunities for our children…..thanks to you!
You have also provided funding for summer music camps for kids in the community. Summer camp opportunities are especially unique in reaching out to families in the community who may be unchurched, but are seeking a quality faith-based music experience for their children.
And that’s not all. Yes, our choirs and music classes help our kids grow musically; but they also help our children grow spiritually, emotionally, and physically as well. Choirs provide “super-food” for a child’s faith, brain, and body. Consider these ways that choirs benefit our children:
- · Memorize spiritual truths for life
- · Discover and develop the singing voice
- · Worship with body, mind, spirit, and voice
- · Experience joy
- · Serve others
- · Use the imagination
- · Learn to listen
- · Read words and music
- · Cooperate with others
- · Develop self-confidence
- · Move creatively and develop steady beat
There are still other ways that you, the church, have impacted our children’s music ministry. Several years ago, a church member and I were having a conversation about my dream for teaching ukulele to our grade schoolers. God impressed upon that individual to donate the money needed to purchase 23 ukuleles for our music ministry! Immediately after the ukuleles were bought, our plans to teach spring classes were put on hold due to Covid shutdowns. But God had a greater plan! As we began to re-open for small, distanced meetings, those ukuleles were the PERFECT instruments to utilize! We were able offer ukulele classes as a restart for children’s music classes…..and we are still using them. It’s created a large group of children/youth who have continued to play ukulele, and have been able to advance easily into guitar and other musical instrument experiences. That generous gift of just one person has blossomed into blessings for well over a hundred kids, and counting!
The generosity of this congregation has enabled us to hire a great staff of people and to facilitate that group working together to dream new ministry initiatives like “Fuel your Family”. This endeavor came about because we came together and began to see the ways that ministry is different now and what we can do to help meet needs. So far we have an average of 16 parents that brought their kids last year and then left who are now sticking around for spiritual formation and community and then a free meal with other families. It is having great impact!
With the generosity of the congregation we have made significant upgrades to our online worship that enable us to reach an average of 58 households each week. We have improved the sound and cleaned up a lot of unnecessary equipment in our effort to be faithful stewards. In addition our choir and praise teams are both growing and average worship attendance is up over last year year to date.
With your generous support we impact our community through the work of AA and Scouting. While we do not financially support either of these groups, our willingness to open our doors, pay the light bill, keep the building climate controlled and in good repair enables both of them to reach out in our community. We recently received a thank you from one of the AA groups and a member said this, “Your church family opening its doors to AA has allowed my family to keep its doors open to me. Thank you for showing God’s love through your support of our recovery.” I bet you didn’t know that last year on New Years our building was open for an AA gathering that provided a place for people to go rather than to go somewhere where they might drink. Sometimes turning on the lights is so much more than just that.
Your generosity of giving supports our Preschool that offers safe space for children to learn and grow mentally, physically and spiritually. Every week the children gather in the sanctuary to sing of God’s love, hear the stories of Jesus and learn that there is a place for them in God’s house. This chapel time is lead most often by members of our staff and committed laity. What a difference the investment makes!
Not only does your missional giving support grants to local and global partners, but giving to the general fund helps us to keep a staff member on our team that can guide our mission work and lead us to dream big together. Our partnership with Parkview Elementary and in the local school community has grown a great deal this year because of your investment. We are impacting teachers and students in meaningful ways that care not only for practical needs like school supplies but also do justice work that helps level the playing field for all students.
Your Gifts Make A Difference
Giving is foundational to everything we do as a church. Your gifts, through tithing, special gifts, honorariums, and memorials truly make a difference to our church, our community and the Kingdom.
God's Plan For Giving
Here at Williamson's Chapel, we encourage people to consider "proportional giving" in response to the way that God is blessing them. This means that we give a set percentage of what we receive to God's work in our world. When we receive or earn more, we give more. When we receive or earn less, we give less. BUT our faithfulness remains the same. The Bible teaches this kind of giving when it calls for the Tithe (a tenth) and assures God's people that when we give this way, God will bless our obedience. However much you give, we encourage you to give prayerfully. If you have questions, please contact Pastor Toni Ruth or Pastor Wes.