January was an exciting month for FCC. In worship we started the month with a visit from the Wise Men and Woman. We also emphasized the importance of Light in song and praise. The ice storms threw us off kilter for several days. On January 14 we had to cancel in person worship and postpone the Installation of the Search Committee for the Settled Pastor until January 21.

The Church Board was busy finalizing the 2024 budget. We had a special board meeting on January 8 with the leaders of the Finance Committee to work through the details of the 2024 operating budget. We also sponsored another “Budget Conversation” with the congregation, during which Finance Committee Chair John Soper explained the various components of the financial life of FCC. He described the operating budget, which is primarily directed to staffing/programming costs and is supported through pledges. He also explained the supporting budget, which is primarily funded through gifts to the church and is utilized to support specific projects and ministries of critical need for the church. The Budget Conversation was well attended and raised several issues that were forwarded to the Board. After much discussion, the Board approved the proposed 2024 budget during our January 22 meeting.

In a move that will affect every person associated with FCC, the Board approved the Audio/Visual (A/V) Group’s proposal for a new audio and visual system for the church. This project will improve the quality of our sound system and on-line streaming efforts of worship. Thanks to Steve Carmichael and the members of the A/V Group for their work on this important project.

The 2024 budget will be formally presented and voted on during the Congregational Meeting following worship on February 4. Please plan to attend this meeting to exercise the unique privilege we have as a member of a United Church of Christ congregation.

Dan Close, FCC Board Moderator