Our President of the Board of Trustees, Jeff Legath, has a very important message to share with the congregation as we face a difficult budget shortfall.


Presentation to the Congregation
Jeff Legath, President of the Board of Trustees
Sunday, November 6, 2022
Good morning everyone:
For anyone who may not know me, my name is Jeff Legath. My wife Jenny and I have been members of this congregation for about 20 years. I am in my sixth year of serving on our Board of Trustees, and my third year serving as President of the Board. I also serve on the Budget committee with our Chair Mike Ramage and several other Trustees and members of Session.
I have been asked and want to speak to you at this time from a leadership perspective and as a member of this congregation. My family and I love this Church and we put our hearts into this- we are all-in on FPC Moorestown. We are led by amazing Ministers and Staff who help forge a terrific culture here. Stuart and his team help us accept who we are- imperfections and all- and realize that we- like you- are exactly the type of people who need to be members of this great Church. FPC Moorestown has had a profoundly positive effect on my faith and our family.
Like a family, there is also a responsibility to share with you, our Congregation, when times become challenging. In addition to a decrease in unpledged giving so far in 2022 and lost revenue from donors who have moved or passed away, we recently learned that some of our very faithful donors are facing unexpected challenges. These challenges will have a significant impact on our Church’s expected donations for 2022 and on estimates of giving for 2023. Although we hope this proves to be conservative, we currently expect a decrease in projected revenue versus original expectations for this year and next year of about $200,000 each year.
This loss is significant to our Budget. The Budget Team and leadership are making hard decisions while seeking to keep in place all of the core missions of our Church- including all of our programs that support our members. We also very much want to continue funding our Missions Committee, Deacons and all of our benevolence as much as we reasonably can. A big part of why I am addressing you today is that our Budget Committee wants to do right by all of our constituents- and we know how much Missions and Deacons help less fortunate people locally and around the world. We want and expect to keep our dedicated Staff in place; we want to continue to serve our community with programs such as the Strawberry Festival, children and youth programs, our spectacular music ministry, and many others. All of this takes money. We also have a beautiful Church facility and grounds, which takes money to maintain.
I think that we need to face these challenges together as a family and united as a team. Our Budget Committee is wrestling with a proposed 2023 Budget that currently will need to reflect reductions in all areas. This will not be pleasant and is certainly not our goal, but we will ultimately do what we need to do to share the pain equally and preserve the core functions and long-term sustainability of our Church.
I do not present this to you easily- but I believe it is very important that all of our Church family hear this message and understand where we are. Fortunately, I know from experience how amazing this Congregation is and has been at supporting our Church. During the pandemic we asked for- and you provided- your faith and continued support while we were not even open, and we came through that stage of the Pandemic as well as we could have ever prayed for.
So today, I am asking again for your tremendous support. I do not want the Congregation to think this is like most any year where Stuart sends out a year-end giving message and we respond or not- perhaps without too much thought. Nothing could help solve these budget issues more than additional gifts and pledges received from our Congregation- and I do not want to finalize proposed 2023 budget numbers and put them before Session until I know that our Congregation knows where we stand and has a chance to respond.
As a leader, I would never ask anything of you that my family and I are not also fully committed to doing. I assure you there is nothing like being President of the Board of Trustees to make you clearly see and feel the full weight of the needs of our Church. Jenny and I have now raised our 2023 estimate of giving twice since we first turned in our pledge card- to a level that is now 50% above what we estimated for 2022 and 4x higher than what we were giving when I first joined the Board 6 years ago. Our revised pledge is already reflected in the numbers I have shared- but we are not done praying on it either.
We ask any of you who possibly can to join us however more you can help. I know some of you have likely already pledged as much as you possibly can- and I am well aware that so many of you give a lot more than money to our Church. If you have already pledged for 2023, please pray on whether you can increase that pledge now if at all possible, knowing now where we stand and the challenges we face. If you have not yet pledged at all for 2023, I urge you to do so with whatever you can reasonably give. No amount is too small. And certainly as we approach the end of 2022, we ask that you please dig deeply to give more than your 2022 pledge as you are able– by contributing to our Christmas Green year-end giving. How we finish 2022 will have a large impact on what we are able to do in 2023.
Friends, we can meet this challenge if we work together. God’s grace is magnificent and I have deep faith that God and this Congregation will provide what we need. The work of our Church is vital. On behalf of the Budget team, I ask for your continued prayers as we work our way through this financial challenge. And I further ask of you to do whatever you can do financially to help. Together, I know we will come through this and thrive as a Church for many years to come. Thank you for your prayerful consideration of these requests.