Progress During COVID-19
In 2020, God truly blessed the finances of Leesville United Methodist Church. In the first three months of 2020, LUMC offerings received exceeded expenses that were paid by almost $13,000. The budgeted expenses were reduced due to the retirement of the ministry assistant. Also during this quarter, the church received an unrestricted memorial gift that increased the checking account balance.
Due to COVID-19, the in-person worship services were suspended during March 2020. The LUMC family was notified by email that a new avenue of giving had been created by the church in opening an on-line giving account with PayPal. The other two methods of mailing a check to the church or hand delivering your offering were also ways to continue giving. This information was also in an article in the church’s April newsletter.
During the second quarter of 2020, when worship services were live streamed, LUMC offerings received continued to exceed expenses that were paid by over $8,000. During April, May and June, the on-line giving with PayPal averaged over $5,000 each month. Offerings were also mailed in as well as dropped off at the church office.
Once in-person worship resumed on Sunday, June 14, 2020, the on-line giving with PayPal decreased. The monthly average was over $3,000 for the rest of 2020. The in-person worship or dropped off or received by mail offerings’ monthly average was over $23,000 for the rest of 2020. By the end of December 2020, LUMC’s budget receipts exceeded the disbursements by $25,000.
In 2020, LUMC members and others also generously gave designated special offerings that exceeded $26,000. Examples of these offerings were: $4,600 for Epworth; $718 for Christmas Child Shoeboxes; $755 for UMCOR & UMVIM; $250 for Native Americans; $997 for Aldersgate Special Needs; $1,985 for Christmas offerings in lieu of poinsettias; $10,110 for Frieda Wald; $5,200 for Because I Can Summer Literacy Program; and $4,463 for Building & AC Repairs. Also, a budget transfer of $11,246 for technology upgrades was moved to the designated account. Technology upgrades and networking expenses had been approved by church council to improve the church’s video streaming capabilities. Each Sunday, both worship services are lived streamed and posted to LUMC’s website. This has been another way to share God’s love with LUMC’s members and others. We could feel God’s hand in helping us to make some necessary and beneficial changes as we faced new challenges at LUMC.