Case for Support

First Presbyterian Church of Granville is a precious place to many. Hospitable and inclusive, the community has decided to take its future firmly in hand and stop counting on budgetary miracles. Commitment 2018 and Beyond, an initiative to build endowment and reserves, will give the entire congregation an opportunity to make this church a priority and provide for its long-term wellbeing.

During autumn 2016, The Reverend Karen Chakoian delivered a series of sermons about stewardship and money. She spoke eloquently about abundance and generosity, about supporting God’s work in the world through First Presbyterian Church, and about how to decide how much to give in support of that work. 

One of the most important factors is what we believe about church. Your giving probably depends a lot on what “church” means to you: What do you believe it’s here for? What does it do? Specifically, how does this church change your life or the lives of others? In this complicated, confusing world of ours, what does church mean in your life?

Many members of the church have talked about the role First Presbyterian plays in their lives and how they cherish this church as a home and family. It’s a safe place to learn and grow in God’s presence, to love and be loved. They treasure the church as an open, engaging forum for many voices and varied ideas; they value the tolerance, affirmation, and support. 

Running around the church at midnight with my youth group is not something I experience every week, yet there is always that sense of bliss and wellbeing. Whether being honored by the opportunity to give the sermon, discussing thoughts on scripture, laughing with friends at choir practice, or crying in my youth director’s office…I am surrounded by a congregation that knows and loves me.

I have only to think of the delightful woman who directed me in the children’s choir many years ago hugging me every time she sees me, or the friendly man who pays attention to all my soccer games and congratulates me for a win that previous week, or the elderly man who sits two pews from the back on the left side of the Sanctuary and…tells me to smile every Sunday morning, to know that the proud sandstone building that houses our church is home, and that the community that meets there is a microcosm of what the world should be when it’s good. None of us is perfect, but what is wonderful about my church is that, in it, we are all striving toward being our best.

The church has welcomed me and enfolded me into its heart…Church has taught me to question, but with deep thought; to lead, but with humility and awareness; and to sing, not only when I’m happy, but also when singing is what leads to my happiness.”

- Amelia Anderson, member of First Presbyterian Church and student at Davidson College

Recently, a member of First Presbyterian Church of Granville who has grown up in this congregation wrote on her college application:

“The environment, leadership, and support are things that drew us here,” one member commented. “We have a big emphasis on music and strong youth programs. We want to protect and continue what is so special; we want generations yet to come to be part of this momentum. God is not done with us yet.” The church is not simply a haven and sanctuary, “not just a club for us,” another member said. “Our church has much to do with service. We are Christ’s hands in the world.” 

From worship and education to pastoral care and mission, the shared faith experiences that enrich the life of this community also strengthen each individual as they “journey toward a common goal.” Therefore, to safeguard their life together, church leaders are conducting Commitment 2018 and Beyond, a $2.75 million initiative to build endowment and reserves that will provide for the future of First Presbyterian Church of Granville.

God is not done with us yet. 

The roots of this congregation date from 1805 in Granville, Massachusetts. People have worshipped in the Sanctuary in Granville, Ohio, since 1861. The congregation has steadfastly cared for and embellished facilities to meet current needs. Within this place, members of the family have nurtured generations for Christian service.

Each year, budgetary demands seem more challenging, requiring members to reach deeper into their pockets. Sometimes, they necessitate cuts in programming and services. “Each year, we ask what we’re going to cut; eventually we stop cutting fat and have to cut bone…” one member commented. “We’re treading water. We can’t continue to count on miracles,” another added. 

The costs of maintaining church life and home currently include the following.

  • Caring for people is a central ministry of the church. For example, the staff devotes about 65 hours per week to pastoral care and, in 2016, staff and volunteers made 3,120 pastoral calls! Since 1992, the church has commissioned 90 Stephen Ministers. From recent calculations, we know it costs $89,000 per year to support the pastoral care ministries.
  • Faith formation is essential to the growth of children, youth, and young adults; the programs that nurture them cost $140,000 annually. 
  • The worship of God, which is at the heart of the experience for many people who attend First Presbyterian Church, requires creativity, talent, and spiritual leadership. Support of worship costs approximately $192,000 each year. 
  • The church supports local and international mission work; these outreach initiatives receive $140,000 annually from the congregation. 
  • The upkeep of our church home and grounds requires approximately $180,000. 

 “No one person or family benefits from all these ministries,” Elder Bill Knobeloch wrote. “But together they form a church that creates a community you want to be part of.”

The church’s total operating budget for 2017 is $757,900.

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