Forward in Faith
Each fall, clergy are to write a summary of the church’s activities in a year called The Pastor’s Report. I was writing mine and realized there was no possible way to summarize all we have done this year. While the first two and a half months followed a discernible path, nothing normal — save the Grace of God — has been a regular feature for the remainder of the year. Every single week has required more from your leadership than anyone could imagine. On multiple occasions, we found ourselves working in dynamic changes from one hour to the next adapting each hour of the day. How do I summarize that work? I could not. I did realize that even if our work defied a summary, there was a clear pattern of activity. In addition to God’s Grace, there was a deep and profound faithfulness to the decisions and actions Wesley was taking.
I do not know what the remainder of 2020 and 2021 will yield. I can guarantee you how we will navigate the unknowns on the horizon. By God’s grace, we will navigate forward faithfully. That is the theme for this year’s stewardship campaign. While we cannot fully predict or prepare in any given year, we certainly can say that 2021 will be unlike any other. As best we are able, the Leadership of Wesley is hoping to ensure the staff and ministries of Wesley are positioned to respond faithfully, no matter what 2021 brings.
The faithful consideration of your 2021 financial pledge will go a long way to help the Board make a faithful and thoughtful plan on how to deploy our work in 2021. The Wesley Board is anticipating the need to reduce our overall budget by anywhere between 8% and 17%. At the 8% end, we will have some cutbacks and staffing pay reductions, but that should be appropriate to meet the challenges we can foresee in 2021. If it is more in the 17% budget reductions, there will be substantial staff reductions which will change the way we hope to do ministry.
No matter how we respond, I can commit to you we will be faithful. Since arriving at Wesley, I have been told to tell folks where we are and to let them respond. That is what we are doing. Your 2021 commitments will help us plan according to our abilities. As always, if you make a commitment and 2021 changes your circumstances, you can contact me pastorally and we can adjust accordingly.
Thank you for being prayerful, being generous, and most of all, for being faithful in pointing us to 2021.