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Strengthening our present, creating our future

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29: 11 

As United Methodists, we believe we are stewards: of the earth, of our communities, and of our relationships. The giving of our financial resources, as we are able, is one way we live into our role as stewards of this community. 

Our Mission statement: We seek to embody grace and hospitality in the manner of Jesus, nurturing our diverse spiritual journeys and joining together as a servant community to help realize a more loving and just world.   

Grace and Hospitality

Since 1837, First Church has been a presence for Good in downtown Madison, where we still share meaningful worship and music, study and sharing, fellowship and outreach – offering a prophetic voice and generous caring to a community seeking signs and experiences of grace. Looking to 2020, in a world of uncertainty we nurture what we’ve been given—opening our hearts, doors, and minds for God’s next new things. 

Diverse Spiritual Journeys

In a denomination and world where divisions are rife, we proudly and firmly pronounce that at First Church, All Still Means All. We seek to comfort the challenged while challenging the comfortable—from our annual Lyons Lecture, providing speakers and topics that push us to “Live the Questions”; to our status as a Reconciling Congregation, proclaiming that ALL are welcome and celebrated; to our Wednesday morning Come As You Are worship, where professionals worship alongside the home-less community. The future? We’re excited to see where God is leading!

We offer a prophetic voice and generous caring to a community seeking signs and experiences of grace.

A Servant Community

St. Francis reportedly said, "Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words." Our experience is that community grows stronger as we serve together – in the manner of Jesus. Our members reach out to others through our strong First Church Food Pantry; our youth mission trips rebuild homes and work on urban renewal; and when frigid weather or unexpected downtown challenges bring people to our doors, First Church knows how to provide welcome, shelter, meals, and helping hands. 

Creating a More Loving and Just World

We stand on the shoulders of generations of faithful First Church members whose generosity and commitment planted this congregation downtown and kept us here, offering ministries of love and witnessing for justice. Now it is our turn. OUR GIFTS, our vision and caring, will open minds, doors, and hearts for others seeking a future and a hope. 

Your Generosity Helps Create a Bright Future

On Stewardship Sunday, November 24th, in the 9:00 and 11:15am worship services, YOU ARE INVITED to make a pledge of your intention for your financial giving to First Church during 2020. 

Please pray and consider stretching to new faithfulness: if you already pledge, Thank You! Please consider growing your annual gift by an additional 1% (or more) of your income, aiming toward tithing. And if you haven’t made a pledge in the past, please consider taking that step.  

A pledge doesn’t lock you into anything (it can be changed just by notifying the church); but making a commitment often brings unexpected joy and deep peace. 

What are the stories of your faith and your life with First Church?

Use these questions to prompt your personal reflections on your faith and your stewardship: 

  • Who is the person who showed you how to be generous? Would you tell us about him or her? Who brought generosity into your life?
  • Think about where you have seen this church make a difference. How have you experienced that difference?
  • Giving is a response.  What inspires you, in the life of our church, to give/respond?
  •  If this church didn’t exist, what thing that you care about would be missing?
  • What is it about being part of this faith community that you value?
  • What do you find here that keeps you here?
  • What would you like our church to be doing that we’re not yet doing?If you could help create a future in this church, what would it be?

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A Guide to Proportional Giving 

We encourage each household to increase giving 1 percent per year. For a household earning $52,000 per year and contributing about $30 per week, the contribution is about 3 percent of income. This is a portion of what has been given by God to be managed and then is returned to do ministry. A 1 percent increase (from 3% to 4 %) would be about an additional $10 per week.