Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity
One of Jesus’ great teaching parables involves a sower who cast seed along the ground. The sower hoped the seeds would sprout, grow, and bear good fruit. Some seeds did just that, producing a great harvest. But others, Jesus said, fell among thorns and, though they began to grow, these good plants were quickly choked out. Jesus said the thorns were “the cares of the world and the lure of wealth” (Matthew 13:22).
In a culture where having “enough” seems to have become a never-ending pursuit, Jesus’ parable remains incredibly relevant. Many of us are chasing the American dream in ways that lead to stress, anxiety, and fear—thorns that can rob us of the ability to enjoy the abundant lives of purpose that God intended for us.
All of us have struggled with these issues at one time or another. They are important issues that we cannot ignore. This is why, over the next 4 weeks, we will be having a churchwide study and worship emphasis called Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity. During this time, we will explore what the Bible teaches us about financial management. We’ll hear inspirational stories about what others have learned about generosity. Each week we will provide you with some practical tools you can use to assess your financial situation and develop a financial plan with a biblical foundation.
At the conclusion of the emphasis, we will have the opportunity to make personal commitments of our offerings to God through our church in the coming year. We will consecrate these commitments in the worship service on two consecutive Sundays. (See the schedule that follows.)
I hope you will join us in the coming weeks as we look at how we can manage our financial resources and truly experience simplicity, generosity, and joy.
Schedule of Events
- January 22 - “When Dreams Become Nightmares”
- January 29 - “Wisdom and Finance”
- February 12 - “Cultivating Contentment”
- February 19 - “Defined by Generosity” & Consecration Sunday 1
- February 26 - Consecration Sunday
2023 Narrative Budget
After you fill out your Commitment Card you can setup an automatic payment at the frequency of your choice. Simply click the button below, enter an amount, select the "2023 general/pledge fund", and enter your email. On the following screen you will have the option to create a recurring payment. Let us know if we can assist you in any way during this process.
We thank you for your generosity and pray you may find the level of giving that is right for you as you progress in your journey of faith and commitment. Your pledges and contributions are a critical part of how we can make a difference in our church, our community, and our world.
The following “Frequently Asked Questions” can help you understand stewardship and pledging at Westlake United Methodist Church.
Has the 2023 budget been set yet?
Yes. The budget was approved by Church Council last December. This year, the Stewardship Campaign is happening at the beginning of the new year, instead of concurrently with the budgeting process. This was to avoid overlap with other charitable giving requests in the months leading up to the Christmas season.
What is the 2023 budget?
The 2023 operating budget is $1,188,589.00 (excluding the Preschool), which represents an increase of $88,173.00 or 8% over 2022. The bulk the increase is related to Facilities and Staffing. It’s costing us more to heat, cool, and maintain our property and buy supplies for our programs and ministries. Even more critically, we must ensure that we increase earnings for our incredibly gifted and faithful staff to be compensated with a livable wage given the higher than usual pace of inflation and cost of living in our area.
How much of the 2023 budget supports staff?
Roughly 63%. Another 20% is Facilities and Administrative expenses.
How much of the 2023 budget is Missions/Outreach?
Missions and Outreach is $17,000 without Apportionments. Special collections and
the Mission Match put that number over $173,000.
How many members do we have?
We have 581 members (including confirmed youth) from 402 Family Units, some of whom are inactive/non-attending.
How many pledges do we hope to get?
With an 8% budget increase, we a need significant increase in giving, accomplished by:
Increase in giving units. In 2022, we had 14 fewer families pledge than the previous year. This year our goal is to get back to a minimum of 149 family giving units.
Increase in pledged amounts. Please consider increasing your pledge/giving by 8% to help keep pace with the increased budget.
What was the participation rate for last year/2022?
We had 135 pledges which is 34% of the total Family Units (but a much higher percentage of active families).
What was the average pledge?
Are most pledges fulfilled?
Our church is filled with faithful givers! The pledge fulfillment rate for 2022 was 97%!