MINISTRY AND FINANCE UPDATE
In the past few months, we have had the joy of continuing to welcome new people to our Sunday services, providing a time of worship and engagement with God’s people here in Center-City and also at our Main Line campus at Rosemont College.
We also saw home groups start to gather this September, with new people entering groups for the first time, and new groups starting in Center-City as well as on the Main-Line.
There has been an increased ministry to students from Villanova through our main line campus.
Some new efforts have been hosted by our family ministry, one of them being an Apple Picking day @ Linvilla which 60 people participated in.
As we have continued to provide opportunities for those that are new in our community to connect, we saw 60 people attend our New to Liberti Brunches & In-Covenant Classes, with 12 people becoming members in September. If you are new at Liberti, we would love to have you join us at our next New2Liberti Brunch on Sunday, November 15th.
We have been thankful for the gracious way St. Mark’s Episcopal has hosted Emmanuel Ministry since this summer, allowing us to continue our meals and ministry with our homeless friends twice a month. We look forward to the return of Emmanuel to our church for the annual Thanksgiving breakfast, when we anticipate serving over 200 people that morning, using our renovated facility and kitchen for the first time.
Villanova’s Inter-Varsity Fellowship and Liberti have been collaborating for increased ministry at CHOC (Coordinated Homeless Outreach Center) in Montgomery County this Fall.
We look forward to numerous ways in the coming months, to serve our city and region, to grow together as a community centered around the grace of Jesus, and to gather in worship, proclaiming the grace of Jesus through all that we do and say.
For all of these efforts and more to continue, it requires the full participation of all who belong to Liberti Church.
I am now going to share a brief update on the church’s financials, through which we fund our ongoing mission to live, speak, and serve as the very presence of Christ for our city and region.
Our fiscal year runs July - June, and we have completed the first quarter of our fiscal year.
The Final Result of last fiscal year ending in June was a $31k deficit.
We reduced our spending significantly below our budget for the year, so the deficit was largely a result of not receiving the gifts and offerings we committed to as a church.
However, our For The City initiative raised millions of dollars to purchase and renovate the First Baptist Church building as a center for ministry, and we know many people gave specifically for that initiative.
The deficit does limit the ministry commitments we can make this year, and depletes our cash reserve, so it’s not a practice we can sustain.
Into our first quarter now:
Giving was a bit over $226,000. Up 2% compared to last year. Historically, we tend to receive gifts in two big spikes during the year: December and May, so it’s significant to see giving levels rising this early in the year.
Expenses were $245,000. Up 3% compared to last year, but below our budgeted spending for this quarter.
That leaves us with a $19,000 difference. This is fitting with our year over year trends for the first quarter, as we tend to run a deficit in the first quarter, but it requires that we have a strong second quarter of funding the mission together.
I have two important requests of us as a congregation:
First, if you have pledged to our For The City initiative, please continue to give as you promised.
Our renovation work will be done in early December, and all of the expenses will be due.
Second, Liberti has never been in the position to have a ministry reserve that would let us be unexpectedly generous.
If you are an In-Covenant member but not partnering financially with Liberti, would you consider starting a monthly offering and joining us in funding the mission of this church?
For those of you who do give, are you in a position to significantly increase your gifts to Liberti?
I wonder if you might consider doubling your giving level this year.
As a reminder, you can easily give to Liberti through the weekly offering plates, our website online, through your own online bill-pay, or by providing a donation of stocks or securities through our brokerage account at Charles Schwab.
We are just two months until Christmas now, and I’d like to ask you to please think of Liberti this season and give a special gift to the church. We’re committed to our mission to be the presence of Christ here, we trust one another to fund the mission, and we hope we all get the chance to be unexpectedly generous.