Dear Wintergarden Family-
Over the course of the past three years, our congregation has diligently worked together to develop our God given mission and values. In addition, we have worked towards being a healthier leader team, making much needed enhancement to worship, and creating an annual stewardship plan. After all the internal work of healing, organizing, dreaming, and preparing for the future, we are truly ready to focus our outreach into and with our community. Friends, our mission is to reach out, teach, and provide Christian love within our community, while encouraging people to walk with Christ every day. It is our prayer that we will live out our mission faithfully and authentically.
One of the areas that has continued to be a struggle for us is our financial situation. Giving continues to increase and we are incredibly grateful for your giving. In addition more and more people are coming to join us for worship. Yet, expenses continue to increase. As we turn our efforts on becoming a congregation that focuses on our community, expenses will continue to increase. Please know we have made serious adjustments to our budget and expenses. Pastor Devon took a $500 pay cut and is giving $368 to help cover the Board of Pensions. Beckie has moved into a volunteer position instead of being paid $400 a month. We are also actively seeking organizations to rent out various rooms in the building.
The summer has been a huge challenge for us financially. It has also been a financially challenging summer for many of our members and friends. In July, Pastor Devon and Heather delayed receiving their paychecks so other bills could be paid. In August, Pastor Devon asked to not take a paycheck and tithe her paycheck to the congregation so other bills could be paid. In September, Pastor Devon did not receive a paycheck. Kari, our bookkeeper, is also volunteering her time and not taking a paycheck. We have also committed to the Board of Pensions for Pastor Devon and her family and are behind on making these payments. And lastly, we have credit card bill over $4,000 that needs to be paid off. All of these items make the session incredibly uncomfortable with our financial situation.
Our goal is to raise $30,000 to cover past expenses and create a cushion to carry us through every summer. We are in need of your help to get caught up on expenses and build a cushion so we do not have to experience this every summer.
Our congregation has come so far in a short amount of time. The work we have done to become a more vital and healthy
congregation is amazing! The journey of church transformation is a long one, typically 5 – 7 years before true turnaround and growth happen. We are only 3.5 years into this journey and have accomplished more in that time than I ever thought was possible. God is calling us to be the church of our community. In order to do that, your financial help is essential. Thank you for being in prayer about how you can be a partner in what God is calling us towards. We all love this congregation, Devon loves being your pastor, and we love leading this congregation with you. Let us continue to move forward together. Many blessings to you and your family.
Telephone: (941) 743-5335
Fax: (941) 743-7278
Mailing Address: 18305 Wintergarden Avenue, Port Charlotte FL 33948