Are we afraid? NOT. We're leaving behind fear and moving into God's grace.
On Sunday, as we consecrated our pledges of financial giving for 2022, we remembered the long line of brave disciples who risked so much to create this church on Main Street. We celebrated our current witness to the community. We proclaimed our efforts to move away from a scarcity mindset and use the gifts we have. We questioned the ways we are focusing on what we can hold onto, rather than on what we can give away. We honored the partnerships we have with other agencies working for a more just and generous world.
We heard from Phyllis Bowden who shared powerfully of her experience of giving over her lifetime and the ways the church has stepped up to support her family. We heard from Paul Curtis, whose spirit-full financial leadership (along with Phyllis), has kept us moving forward this year.
Our giving, our commitment to this congregation makes us part of that long line of disciples who some future group will celebrate for not being afraid, for risking something small for something big, for trusting God in trying times.
And since we named the various ways our ancestors in the faith were "afraid, not!" we gave reminders of their sacrificial giving--frayed knots. Please mail in your pledge card next week or drop it by the office and pick up your own frayed knot.
Fellowship Virtual Coffee Hour
Be sure to join us for our Virtual Coffee Hour and Fellowship Time following the 10:30 am service. We look forward to seeing you there!
The Informed Giver Part 6 – Additional Information
This is the final article in this series and I just want to give you some general background information on software used to track income, an overview of report capabilities, and a reminder of ways to give with some additional information you may not be aware of.
On the Financial Secretary side, the software used to post, track, and report income is PowerChurch Plus. As a side note, PowerChurch Plus is also used by and shares data with Membership. Prior to the budget year beginning, envelope pledge information is entered showing frequency, identified fund(s), and amounts. As I mentioned in an earlier article, I want to emphasize again that pledge information is not set in stone and can be adjusted at any time to reflect changing circumstances. On a weekly basis, individual contributions are posted by date, envelope number, fund type, and amount. Memos are added when needed to provide additional or clarifying information but this memo information does not show on statements. Total collections by line item (not individual/personal contributions) are summarized in the MSUMC Weekly Deposit Detail and entered into QuickBooks for use by the MSUMC Treasurer. On a quarterly and annual basis, contribution statements are distributed electronically if your email is provided in the PowerChurch Plus database and by postal mail to the others. These statements can be used for tax purposes substantiating charitable giving.
In addition to the contribution statements, numerous contribution reports are available for analysis and information. Most of these reports can also be tailored for specific data. I won't go into the all of them, but simply list those that are most informative for you: posted contributions (envelope number, date of donation, fund number, amount, and name –used mostly when a contributor has questions about a specific contribution); funds report (lists total amount received per fund – used primarily for analysis); monthly contribution totals (shows amounts over a range of dates, envelope numbers, or funds – this data is presented monthly and cumulatively to the Finance Committee and Church Council by totals only [no envelope information]); pledged/unpledged totals (data used to inform Finance Committee and Church Council of pledged progress by date and identify fund receipts by pledged/unpledged amounts).
I am sure most of you now know the different ways MSUMC accepts contributions, but I want to highlight some additional information that you may not be aware of. PayPal is the largest source of online giving to MSUMC averaging near $3,000/month. We receive donations through PayPal, eBay, and other technology platforms via the PayPal Giving Fund. A main benefit of PayPal is that there are no fees charged to MSUMC. One significant point to be aware of with PayPal, however, is that the date you make your transaction is not the date MSUMC receives the money. PayPal collects transactions on a monthly basis and then "grants" the money to MSUMC at which time we need to "transfer" the "grant" money to our bank. That generally occurs around the 25th – 27th of each month.
VANCO deposits are another form of electronic giving to MSUMC. The primary difference between the PayPal Giving Fund and VANCO is that VANCO charges fees. In addition to a $10 monthly fee, there is a fee of 2.75% for each debit/credit card usage plus $0.45 for each transaction. For ACH (echecks via your bank account) there is a monthly 1.00% transaction percentage fee plus $0.45 for each transaction. For 2021, through September, $4,265 has been contributed (averaging $474/month) but only $4,159 has been deposited in the bank (averaging $462/month). So for each month, VANCO charges MSUMC between $20-25 in various fees. That's not much, but it is a factor in choosing your preferred method of electronic giving and that is why some VANCO users have selected to make additional contributions to help offset processing fees.
The third form of giving accepted by MSUMC are electronic checks mailed directly from your bank or financial institution to MSUMC. The counters and financial secretary call these "big checks"; not because of the amount, but because the checks are physically bigger. If you haven't already done so, please confirm with your bank or financial institution the mailing address is P.O. Box 1517, Nashua, NH 03061. Mail will continue to be forwarded for only a few more months.
Finally, there is the tried and true method of mailing your checks to the church or dropping checks or cash at the church. One thing to consider during this time of pandemic, if you are used to giving weekly, but now find it more convenient to give monthly you can save writing "weekly" checks and simply send in/drop off a single "monthly" check. You can use your existing numbered and dated envelopes or just use an ordinary envelope. For your information, over half of the numbered and dated envelopes that were ordered for 2021 were never picked up. As a result, the numbers and dates have been blacked out and we are using them as generic envelopes. If you need some additional envelopes please let me know. Going forward, our plan is to continue using generic envelopes as they are more cost effective and less wasteful.
So, this brings us to the end. Over the last several articles, we have addressed budgeting, giving categories, income purposes, mission shares, and additional general information. I thank you for your patience and hope and pray they have provided some new information you may not have been aware of or addressed some questions you may have had. Again, if I didn't answer a specific question or you have any comments or concerns, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks again for being an informed giver. Paul
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) filed for bankruptcy after numerous suits were filed for sexual abuse. As part of the bankruptcy process, United Methodist local churches across the country had the opportunity to file a proof of claim. Filing a proof of claim indicated, among other things, that the local church had a right to be indemnified/protected by BSA as well as BSA insurance policy coverage for any claim filed against the local church by a scout survivor. Your local church filed a proof of claim and now has the opportunity to vote on the bankruptcy plan. Because local churches' votes must be received by December 14, 2021, and because we will not know if all United Methodist local churches will be covered against BSA claims until November 23, 2021, all United Methodist local churches that filed a proof of claim must prepare now to record their vote. The congregation's vote is critical to ensure United Methodist local churches are protected from a lawsuit filed concerning an individual claiming they were abused while in a scouting program associated with the local church. A special charge conference is set for Monday, November 29th at 3:00 pm to record the vote. As this is a Charge Conference,only member leaders/officers can vote. Regular members can attend with voice but NOT VOTE.
The format of this conference is primarily online. However, if you are interested in a hybrid/in-person option, please contact the Main Office at (603)882-3361 or email@example.com
During Advent, our children's time series is reminding us to make room for Jesus, the one who matters most. One way our younger congregants can do this in a concrete way is by donating their gently-used toys. We are collecting toys to be donated to Savers, a local for-profit company and secondhand store that pays nonprofit organization for the goods you donate, which in turn helps the nonprofits fund programs in our community. There will be a collection box on the first floor of the connector. The final day for collection will be Sunday, December 26th. Children and families are also welcome to bring their donations to our next Faith Formation on Saturday, December 18th from 1-3pm. We hope you make some physical room for Jesus while also making spiritual room for Jesus. Thank you!
Vestry Class Information
All the Good: A Wesleyan Way of Christmas Begins November 28th @ 9:00 a.m. on Zoom
The Vestry Class will journey through Advent together, guided by the practices in John Wesley's means of grace. As always, this group promises compassionate community, frothy conversation, and prayer. Facilitated by Paul Pederzani, the class is video-based, and no preparation is necessary.
A daily Advent devotional Guide, "All the Good: Devotions for the Season" can also be purchased at Cokesbury and Amazon.com.
News from United Methodist Women
Thanks to everyone who made crafts, knit or sewed items, grew plants or donated to Grandma's attic, baked or made fudge, jelly or canned beans. And thanks to shoppers, we made over $1830 on our virtual fair! Special thanks to technology guru, Kathy Romano for setting up, loading up and monitoring our facebook fair shop. Thanks to Phyllis Appler for taking orders and notifying people with payment and pickup details. Thanks to those who worked behind the scenes taking in donations, sorting and bagging up purchases. We couldn't have done it without all of you.
December Meeting Speaker: Rev. Kristy Besada Wed. the 15th, 7 PM In person in the vestry and online
Pastor Kristy will join us to share what she has been working on in the community for housing justice, highlighting YIMBY groups (Yes In My Back Yard). She will also update us on what local agencies are currently looking for in volunteers.
Please plan to join us in person or online (link will be available closer to the date). This meeting is open to the congregation and friends. You need not be part of UMW.
WHAT IS UNITED METHODIST STUDENT DAY?
One of the major challenges that students face is the lack of financial support to attain a college education. Worrying about expenses adds to the already existing anxieties youth experience and it may take away from their ability to excel in their studies or activities. But for students attending United Methodist Churches, we extend a hand to help them accomplish their career goals.
For more than 100 years, United Methodists have been supporting their students' educational needs through a special offering. The funds received from the offering go into the United Methodist Student Loan Fund to underwrite scholarships for United Methodist students. Scholarships are awarded to deserving United Methodist students annually.
Support Local & join us for Plaid Friday this year in Nashua, NH!
Plaid Friday is the relaxing and enjoyable alternative to the big box store "Black Friday."
The first 400 attendees (registered) will receive a free Plaid Friday Nashua tote bag, stuffed with special offers and other goodies from participating Downtown shops and restaurants.
Tickets are free, but a donation of $5 or $10 is suggested, and will help support Great American Downtown's mission of vibrancy during a year that has been a big challenge for an organization that relies on large events to support our work.
Thank you for your support of Downtown Nashua! We'll see you at Plaid Friday!
If you are interested in helping to staff our table and sock collection bin (10-12, 12-2 and 2-5) please email the Main Office at: firstname.lastname@example.org call 603-882-3361.
The Worship Committee will be offering Christmas poinsettias for purchase this year--to make the sanctuary festive for those worshipping with us in person and for those joining us online. Poinsettias will be offered in red or white and cost $11.00 each.
We are searching for a new word to share with our community for 2022! Entries can be submitted at the Plaid Friday (Nov. 26th) table outside MSUMC, on our Facebook page or by emailing the office at email@example.com
Let's have some vocabulary fun! Acronyms are accepted.
Office Help Needed
I would like a to form a team of office support volunteers who would be willing and available to assist for special projects, such as bulk mailings, VBS preparations, creative assignments and anything else that might come along.
I will provide ample notice prior to task and be flexible in scheduling times to help. Qualifications include: enthusiasm, good sense of humor, and creative patience.
Thank you so much for your volunteer consideration.
October 2021 Finance Snapshot:
General Fund (GF) Total GF Income Received as of 10/31/2021: $336,179.44* Total GF Income Budgeted through 10/31/2021: $365,680.00 Total GF Expenses Paid through 10/31/2021: $315,519.90 Total GF Expenses Budgeted through 10/31/2021: $337,162.90 * Includes $22,380 designated for Heart of Nashua Continued and CARES Act PPP Draw 2 Funds of $41,352.00 received and used for GF expenses. All Cares Act funds were spent and we have received forgiveness from the SBA for the loan which is now marked "Paid."
Notes on General Fund - In October we paid a full month each to World and New England Missions shares. This leaves us about five months behind on each with another two months' shares to pay this year. (Total amount still to be paid in 2021 is $13,458.70. We received $1000 towards missions in November.) - Current on expenses other than missions as of 10/31/2021.
Heart of Nashua 1 & 2 (GiF) & HON Cont. (Capital Campaign/Elevator, Connector, Renovations) - Balance Due on HON Loan as of 10/31/2021: approx. $135,990 (Loan was $358,343.45) - In October the monthly payment was paid. HON Cont. funds on hand 10/31/2021 ($11,969.07) will cover payments for six months. - Total Paid (including interest) Using HON 1, 2 & Continued as of 10/31/2021: $1,902,275.30
Funding for the Future, 100 for $150 (Endowment) – Received this year as of 10/31/2021: $2145 Anyone can be one of 100 people or families giving $150 each year (or any amount) to grow our endowment for our future.
Parsonage Mortgage – As of 9/30/2021 we owed $64,416.20 on the parsonage. We are paying $896.22 per month. At the present rate, the parsonage will be paid off on 1/23/29.
Your Continuing Help Needed The General Fund, as always, is the fund that most needs our donations. This funds our programs, covers our building expenses (utilities, maintenance, insurance, etc.) and our staff as well as paying connectional obligations to the New England Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Thank You Thank you to all who support this congregation. Your service and prayers are appreciated and needed. In October, we received a generous donation to cover snowplowing for the upcoming snow season. So far in November we have received extra giving to support the general fund, missions, and to help provide a salary in 2022/2023 for our associate pastor. Your service is also important—volunteers were seen sealing the office windows for winter and working outside on the flowers, trees and lawn. Thanks to those who serve on committees, help with church services, sing in the choir, visit shut-ins and much, much more.
Early Reminder If possible, please send in year-end donations as early as possible to allow time to deposit and use them to pay our obligations.
Holiday Office Hours for Thanksgiving
The Office will close on Wednesday, November 24th at noon. The office will be closed on Thursday, November 25th and Friday, November 26th for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Pastor's Sabbath Days: Pastor Kelly: Tuesday Pastor Kristy: Friday
Days to Reach Pastors Pastor Kelly: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Pastor Kristy: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Mainstreet United Methodist Church · PO Box 1517 · Nashua, NH 03061-1517 · USA