Click here to complete and submit your commitment card for 2013
Click here to see the Narrative Budget for 2013
Click here to see the Detail Line Item Budget for 2013
Read why some of our staff think it is "Worth It":
Troy Forrester → Read it/Hide it
- Is it worth it? This is a question we find ourselves asking over and over again. Think about going to the grocery store and choosing which items to purchase. Sometimes, I decide to choose the more expensive name brand over the cheaper generic item. When I choose the name brand, it is because I believe that it is worth the extra cost because of the quality of the product. On other occasions I cannot tell a difference other than price and choose the cheapest version available. Is it worth it? This question goes well beyond items in a store. It is a question I ask everyday about what I do with my time. No matter how many tasks I want to complete in a day I still only have 24 hours. Therefore, I must decide who and what is “worth” an investment of my time. There are times when I invest my money, time, and talents wisely. And then…there are other times when I flat out miss in my investing. I invest in someone or something that turns out to be a complete bust! However, I can say with absolute certainty that I have never once regretted giving to God and God’s church! I do not regret “investing” in God because I know that I can never overinvest in God. Also, I know that I cannot out give God! This topic will be the theme for our upcoming stewardship emphasis entitled “Worth It.” During the month of November, we will examine how a commitment to God through the church is indeed “worth it!” Throughout the “Worth It” campaign we will celebrate what God has done through First United Methodist Church over the past year and how our commitments have paid off. We will hear about our mission efforts and discipleship ministries that have further advanced God’s kingdom. We will also look ahead to 2013 and hear about the exciting opportunities we have to invest in the Kingdom of God. Throughout the next several weeks, we will prepare for the “Worth It” campaign by hearing from key leaders within FUMC as they share how they believe their commitments are “worth” making. I hope you will join our community of faith for worship and service during this emphasis on stewardship as we rededicate ourselves to God. I promise it will be “worth” your while! -- by the Rev. Troy Forrester
Scott Gillenwaters → Read it/Hide it
- History Shows Student Ministry is Worth It "Success" is difficult to measure in student ministry. We work hard to provide mission and service projects, top notch learning and training opportunities, and plenty of time for fun and fellowship. Still, there are no real short term results to measure "success." There's no tangible product at the end of the day. So, how do we know all of the effort and expense we put into student ministry is worth it? Perhaps a look at the long term effects of our ministry can shed some light. Although the list of graduates of our youth ministry is a long one, I contacted three folks from different generations who are working in full time ministry to see what was "worth it" for them in our student ministry. Steve Martin left our group in 1981 when he went off to college and seminary. He is now an ordained elder in the Holston Conference and president of Vital Visions, an extension ministry of the Conference. He and his wife, Jana (also a product of our student ministry), have four children currently in our youth group. Steve says, "Jana and I met in FUMC's student ministry. We're now quite proud to have our four kids involved. We couldn't be more pleased to see them thriving there. It's a uniquely Christian social environment where they get the kind of instruction we have always hoped they would receive. It changed my life forever, and it's amazing to see it changing theirs." A few years later, John O'Kain was a member of the group. He not only served in leadership as a student, he also served as interim youth director from May-August 1992 when we were between leaders. He then returned the following summer as an intern. John currently serves as associate pastor for Campus and Young Adult Ministry at Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church in Rock Hill, SC. Of his years at First UMC, John says, "I learned to give and receive forgiveness at FUMC. Perhaps the greatest lesson of all - one that I started to learn at FUMC- - is that the cost of discipleship is also the joy of discipleship. Said another way, I've learned that living according to God's purposes may put me at odds with the impulses of the prevailing culture or even my own selfish or silly inclinations, but that to live according to God's will is to live in the blessing of faithfulness; and faithfulness is its own reward." Clair Travis Sauer is a more recent graduate of the program. She too, is an ordained elder, and is pastor at Grace and Fairview UM Churches in Chattanooga. She says, "At the core of the Christian life is discipleship; our journey toward Christ-likeness. In my discipleship journey leading toward full-time Christian ministry, the youth ministries at First, Oak Ridge were 'Worth It' because from Sunday School, to youth group, to mission trips and more, this was a place that - more than any other - nurtured my growth as a disciple of Christ." These are three of the many, many lives that have been touched, molded, and shaped by the student ministries of this church. Some of our graduates are ordained ministers while others are simply full-time Christian people. Regardless, we're still touching lives and it is, without a doubt, worth it! - Scott Gillenwaters, student ministries
Kate Meacham Nintcheu → Read it/Hide it
- The Moment When . . . A child earnestly asks for prayer for a loved one A third grader proudly totes his or her new Bible around, showing anyone who will notice A family encounters the loving community of faith for the first time A young person responds with brave words to, "Who would like to pray for us today?" These are some of the moments that make the work of Children and Family Ministries worth it. These are moments that can only be described as the "in-breaking of the Kingdom of God," split-second moments when heaven and earth are in sync, and we actually get it right. These are the moments that hours of preparation, dozens of volunteers, and plenty of budget monies go towards, and despite their brevity of minutes, they are spiritually worth it. Worth our time, worth our energy, worth whatever it was that we gave up in order to be there. In 2013, we plan to continue the important work of introducing children to God through discipleship, Bible study, and their church family. We will continue resourcing families to grow in faith together and to provide opportuni-ties for worship, fellowship, and outreach. Children and Family Ministries is one of the many important ministries in which First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge invests your tithing dollars, and we hope you agree that our ministries are completely worth it. - Kate Meacham Nintcheu, children and family ministries
Andrew Duncan → Read it/Hide it
I hate it when the church talks about money.
Oh great – it must be Stewardship Campaign time again at church. Didn’t we just do this last year?
Not many people like to talk about money and church. Money seems like such a worldly element to have to inject into a place that is supposed to be set apart from the world. The problem with that separation is that it is not true. Let me explain…
During the past 12 months, the music ministries of this church included the following:
Provided a community-wide Christmas program with choir and orchestra
Presented a Good Friday cantata with chamber orchestra and choir
Presented “Celebrate Life” during worship services
Took the youth choir on tour to Charleston and Atlanta
Purchased new anthems for the adult and youth choirs
Adopted a new curriculum for the children’s choir program
Sent our volunteer children’s choir directors to the Celebrating Grace conference to learn about leading children’s choirs
Provided continuing education to Sandi, Jeff, and Andrew by allowing them to attend training and events in Nashville, Atlanta, and Tucson
Repaired and retuned the sound equipment in the Multi-Purpose room
Purchased a drum booth and music equipment for First Place
This list is by no means complete, but it represents the nuts and bolts of a ministry program that involves around 150 laity volunteers and staff. As of October 29, 2012, the music ministry expenses totaled $18, 083.35. Divide that by 150, and we have spent $120.56 on each participant of our music ministry. WOW! For $120 and some change, we are offering a child a year’s worth of children’s choir music, instruction, parties, and providing volunteer directors and accompanists. That same amount supports each member of the youth choir and the adult choir with robes, folders, music, as well as visiting musicians who come to play Christmas and Easter music with us. It ensures that our sound equipment is working and that our shut-ins are receiving recordings of the worship services. It sends us forth from this place on choir tour to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Each of these participants in turn will go from this place and touch other lives, multiplying the impact of our investment.
Yes, we’re talking about money. We are talking about it because it is worth it to invest in our children, youth, and adults. It is worth it to see their impact on the lives of hundreds of other people that they will encounter as they go into the world. These are life-changing, culture changing, disciples of Christ that we are talking about – and I can’t think of a better investment.
Andrew Duncan, Director of Music and Worship