THE PANTRY SHELF
For I was hungry, and you gave me food: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in. Matthew 25:35 KJV 2003
When disaster strikes at home or around the globe, we watch the drama unfold on our televisions and can feel helpless. How can we make a difference in the wake of the devastation? As responders scramble to help survivors, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, UMCOR, is prepared to act.
How does UMCOR do that? Through UMCOR Sunday (formerly One Great Hour of Sharing). The annual special offering is held the 4th week of Lent, this year on March 26th. Contributions provide the base of support for UMCOR's work.
All funds go directly to assist disaster relief, with no administrative costs. That is what allows UMCOR to act as the arms and legs of Christ’s church. The response of UMCOR isn't something "they" do, it’s something "we" do.
Contributions may be placed in the offering. If you wish to write one check for your church contributions, please indicate how much money you would like to contribute to each cause.
The response to the Soup Sampler Lunch Fundraiser was wonderful. Thank you for contributing nearly $900 that will go the Interfaith Coalition. It is our contribution to their annual fundraising auction. You will find more information about the auction on March 25 in another Skylight article (page 5).
Cheri Jackson donated a spectacular handmade quilt for the auction.
The Lighthouse Mission is the emergency cold weather housing resource for Whatcom County.
On the heels of the coldest December in Bellingham history, this latest snow storm is bringing a crisis to people who are homeless. Winter weather is dangerous, even life-threatening for people living in tents, cars, and on the street. Men, women, and children exposed to snow and freezing temperatures are fighting for their lives.
We need your help! Since October, when Lighthouse Mission increased the number of available emergency shelter beds, they have sheltered an additional 30-70 people every night. These 30-70 people would have nowhere else to go if it weren’t for the expanded 24 Hour Drop-In Center. Bridget Reeves, Program Director, explains, "Knowing that this shelter is available and that there is a warm and safe place to stay is monumental for our guests. It means they can leave the extremely difficult situations they’re in because they have another option."
Donations may be made online at www.thelighthousemission.org or by mail to:
Lighthouse Mission Ministries
PO Box 548, Bellingham, WA 98227
Choir practice - Wednesdays at 5:00.
3/1 - Dianne Rockum
3/3 - Peg Riley
3/3 - Barb Dinkla
3/7 - Conrado Gonzaga
3/8 - Betty Oberwortmann
3/13 - George Mustard
3/18 - Margaret Mustard
3/19 - Allison Ruhl
3/22 - Gaylen Brevik
3/30 - Lynda Fraser
3/12 - Fred & Toni Hess
3/20 - Tom & Linda Young
IN OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS
Lynda Fraser, Family of Virginia Creekman, Family of Everett & Kay Zuidmeer, Family of Lucille Case, Family of Jane Young, Family of Ruth Lordahl, Peg Moseid, Dick & Vi Stone, Jack Young, Deanie DeGraaff, Gaylen Brevik, Pat & Joanne White.
Safe travels. Prayers for our Congregation. Prayers for those recovering from illness or injury. Prayers for the lonely or grief stricken. Prayers for our Nation & World. Prayers for those serving in the Armed Forces.
If you would like to add a joy or concern to the prayer vine, please contact Frances Shuler at 354-1943 and the vine will be activated. The following is our current prayer vine: Frances Shuler, Betty Oberwortmann, Bev Honcoop, Margaret Mustard and Eleanor Shagren.
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS
9:30 AM - 1:30 PM
UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
UMW will meet Wednesday, March 15th. Executive meeting at 10:30 am. Lunch at 12:00 noon.
Hope is on the Way! Save the Date for the Interfaith Hope Auction!
Mark your calendar: Interfaith Coalition’s Hope Auction happens on Saturday, March 25, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Four Points by Sheraton. Whatcom County’s friendliest fundraiser features fellowship, inspiration, hope and lively bidding on great auction items. Please join us as we continue in our work of transforming struggling lives. You can help in these ways:
We make a difference in the lives of homeless children and their families. Partner with us by attending the Hope Auction and lifting up our brothers and sisters! Together our coalition of diverse congregations makes a difference. To donate an auction item and purchase tickets, please call Interfaith Coalition at (360) 734-3983 or through our website: www.interfaith-coalition.org.
Finance Team Report
The LUMC Finance Team met on January 29th to review 2016 activities and set goals for 2017. The finance Team feels that it is important that the LUMC Community of Faith (COF) understands how LUMC finances are organized and how they function.
LUMC finances are divided into accounting groups: General Funds (G/F) deals with the basic operation of the church, i.e.: staff salaries and related support, insurance, utilities, janitorial services, outreach projects, and worship functions. Special Funds (S/F) are utilized by the Board of Trustees for building and property maintenance.
The G/F has a checking account to pay the aforementioned bills and also has a companion savings account for emergencies and unforeseen expenses. All giving to LUMC goes into G/F unless it is specifically designated for S/F. S/F is set up identical to G/F in that it also has a checking account and a companion savings account. Designated funds are specifically accounted for in the S/F savings account. It is important that the designated funds be spent according to the donor’s wishes. The accounts for LUMC G/F and S/F are managed by our Administrative Assistant, Michal Wiseman.
An addition Finance Team endeavor is our investment program with the Northwest United Methodist Foundation (NWUMF). Essentially, the NWUMF serves as our stock broker. Consequently, we are tied to the stock market and the risk that presents. However, our investments are moderately conservative in nature. Over the 10 years that the LUMC has invested with NWUMF, our bottom line has been annual profits of between 4% and 6%. LUMC has 4 separate accounts with NWUMF; (a) Long Term Growth ($4955.48), (b) General Funds ($43,372.82), (c) Capital Improvement & Repairs ($121,874.42) and (d) Additional Savings ($26,718.71).The figures in parentheses are the 2016 year-end balances, which total $196,921.43.
Basically, the Finance Team starts with designing a calendar year budget. Our annual budgets over the past 5 years range between $130,000 and $135,000. These figures only apply to G/F and the operation of the church. S/F is operated on a demand/need basis, although some repairs like the parsonage roof replacement can be scheduled ahead. The Finance Team prepares Quarterly Reports which itemize the quarterly income, quarterly expenses, end of quarter G/F checking and savings account balances, and end of quarter NWUMF balances. This Quarterly Report is posted for COF information and the Finance Team is always available to answer specific questions.
2016 was an unusual financial year in that five major projects were completed by the Board of Trustees. (1) The roof on the parsonage was replaced; (2) The bathrooms in the church were brought up to ADA specifications. As well as, adding certain lighting and plumbing enhancements; (3) The flooring in the kitchen and Fellowship Hall serving area were replaced; (4) The elevator was completed; inspected and insured; (5) An organ was purchased, installed and the Worship/Music Teams are coordinating its utilization. The aforementioned expenditures came close to zeroing out S/F (checking and savings) and G/F transferred approximately $17,000 to S/F in August/September. By the end of 2016, S/F had returned all but approximately $2,000 to G/F. Additionally, S/F withdrew $20,000 from the NWUMF Capital Improvement & Repairs account to expedite the purchase of the organ.
The Finance Team’s 2017 goal is to return the General Funds and Special Funds checking and savings accounts to their 2015 balances, which were: G/F Checking: $25,000; G/F Savings: $30,000; S/F Checking: $10,000; S/F Savings: $15,000. It should be noted that typically donations to S/F are the results of designated giving, bequeaths and executed wills.
Fair Trade coffee, tea, cocoa & chocolate bars will be on sale in the Fellowship Hall, following church service, on the 3rd Sunday of each month. Help support small farmers.