Dear Central Members and Friends,
On Rally Day, we celebrated the themes of Reconnect, Rediscover, Renew and Rebuild at Central Congregational Church.
These themes guide the life and ministry of our church this year as we reconnect with each other through church activities and friendship. We rediscover the joy and wisdom of the Christian tradition in worship, service, and spiritual growth. We renew our commitment to God and one another as we strive to rebuild our church community and the wider communities around us.
As summer gives way to fall, the leaves change color and drop, many of us are returning to the routines of work or students heading to and from school each morning. In our faith life, we return to activities at church—worship and Sunday School, Chancel Choir, Gospel Choir, and the Central Church Band, Saturday Breakfast and Saturday Night Meal, Prayer Shawl Knitters, Women’s Ministry or Adult Christian Education.
These are just a few of the activities that have gotten underway this fall. Perhaps you were a volunteer for the Chocolate Tour or joined in a community vigil for healing and peace in the Middle East. Maybe you invited a neighbor to bring a beloved pet to the Animal Blessing Service or you’re working to support the Christmas Fair.
There are so many ways to get involved and so many ways that Central Church is making a difference in the lives of our members and friends—and in the community around us. For example, our building is being used by more community groups than ever before.
Amidst these public activities, there are countless hours of work behind the scenes to sustain our mission and ministry, including financial planning for 2024. Central Church needs your support and we ask that you prayerfully consider your pledge to Central for the upcoming year.
In response to God’s blessings in your life, we invite you to offer thanks for these generous blessings by making a pledge of financial support for Central Congregational Church.
Your support is vital to sustaining the life and ministry of Central.
There are two components of our pledge at Central. The first, Current Expense, is the amount that goes towards the general operating budget of the church. The second, Christian Outreach, is the portion that funds the various Outreach Work that Central Church is well known for throughout the greater Newburyport area. Please consider how you will respond to both aspects of your pledge to Central.
In 2023, the congregation approved a budget with a deficit of nearly $30,000. Rather than cut programs or activities, as many organizations might when faced with a budget crunch, we stepped out in faith. Thanks to your generosity and careful management, we believe that we will end this year in the black.
Looking ahead to 2024, we know that we will continue to face challenges as our current expenses increase and the wider community needs our support as much as ever. We also know that many families face challenges because of the increased cost of living. But we can step out again in faith because of our confidence in God’s faithfulness and care.
We are writing to ask you make a formal pledge in order to help our finance team plan for the upcoming year. As you plan your pledge, please think about what you can do to contribute to our ongoing work. Take some time to review the enclosed chart that shows the Distribution of Current Expense pledges the church received for this year as a guide.
Your pledge is not binding and can be adjusted if your circumstances change during the year. This information does help us build a budget and any amount you can provide will contribute significantly to our financial planning for next year. A pledge of any size is a tremendous gift and expression of support for our efforts to reconnect, rediscover, renew and rebuild.
We ask that you return pledge cards to the church office as soon as possible. We plan to celebrate all pledges on Stewardship Sunday, November 12th. If you have any questions or simply wish to email your pledge feel free to contact Jeff Gray @ 978.985.9571 or email@example.com.
Jeff Gray, Andy Dear, Stuart Proctor, Hela Knowlton, Alison Hardy and Cindy Johnson
The Stewardship Committee