Dear First Pres,
   First of all, thanks so much for a great Annual Meeting. If you missed it, you missed a wonderful time of celebrating what God has done and sharing about what is coming in 2018. Congratulations to this year's Outstanding Service award honorees: Rodney Kellenberger, Karon Chambers, and the Lees (Dick, Kim, & Scott). They have demonstrated above and beyond a commitment to the mission and ministry of First Presbyterian Church, so it was a privilege to celebrate them on Sunday.
   We also had the opportunity to explain the 2018 budget. This year's budget reflects a step of courage on the part of Session toward the vision God has given us for FPC. We increased our budget from 2017 by $165K, which means an increase of $176K over 2017 giving. Some of the big-ticket items in that increase are these: the launch of a college ministry partnership with the CCO; a $.50 per hour raise to the staff; and transferring the summer staff program into the budget as the previously used endowment is now spent. To cover the budget expenses with congregational giving, we will need to see a significant increase in giving from 2017 to 2018. If that increase does not come, we have the cash to cover the gap for 2018. However, we would have to make significant cuts in the 2019 budget. My prayer is that the Lord will work in your heart and mine to increase our giving to our church. If each of us is obedient to the Lord in this, I'm confident our needs will be met. So, may God expand His ministries through FPC, taking our loaves and fishes to fund future Kingdom endeavors.
   Finally, we had the privilege of sharing two additional large projects that we plan to embark upon in the coming year using the resources that have been stored up over the past many years. First, we are making plans to install solar panels in our parking lot. The solar panels will create enough energy to cover our monthly electricity bill. So, we expect that the project will have paid for itself within ten years of installation. It will also provide some wonderful shade in our parking lot and create a fantastic venue for outdoor events. Second, we are making plans to expand and bring to code the Fellowship Hall bathrooms. To do this will impact our kitchen, so there will also be a few changes there. A total kitchen remodel will be a future endeavor (hopefully not the too distant future). Improving our bathrooms will help us to be more hospitable as a place to convene community gatherings and events.
   If you have any questions about our Annual Meeting, please feel free to ask any of our Session members. We had them up front so that you could see who they are. But if you need reminding, please check out our list of officers on our webpage.
   What a privilege it is to be part of what God is doing in and through FPC. Thank you so much for your partnership in the Gospel. Nothing is more important.


P.S. This Sunday we'll launch a new sermon series called Lord, Teach Us to Pray. My prayer is that the Lord will use it to increase our prayer as a congregation.