First United Methodist Church has been blessed to be the beneficiary of a major bequest from the estate of longtime FUMC member Thelma Haydon (1913-2017), who died last year at age 103! Half of the bequest was designated for the Endowment Fund, and the other half is undesignated. In order to be good stewards of this important gift, the Church Council has established a Bequest Focus Team to guide the process of disbursement. The Council also determined that these funds would be used for church building improvements and new ministries. The Bequest Team decided that there would be two phases with the second phase coming after a careful consideration of the long-range plans for building usage and church programs.
The Team for Phase I did seek input from the congregation and decided to focus on safety and security concerns for the building. Since our church is a historic building with parts over 100 years old, there are continual improvements needed (some complicated!) so the work done may not always be evident. To date, the first major project was the installation of a new sound system in the sanctuary and a new AV system in the Parlor. Some plumbing issues were addressed in the main kitchen. With regard to new ministries, a new website was funded and the summer “Music for the Soul” program was gifted with funds to for both musicians and promotion. In progress is an upgrade to the fire alarm system and upgrading the sanctuary heating/cooling controls.
Improvements to the church to make it more attractive and welcoming are being considered, and the team has been interviewing design consultants to help develop a coordinated look for the church. A number of other projects are also under consideration.
The Team appreciates all the staff support, especially from Building Manager Bob Sobchak, who helps to identify needs and coordinate projects.
If you have questions, please contact any of the Bequest Focus Team members: Justin Livingston, chair; Ruth Irvin; Homer Knearl; Jon Kottke; Lenna Kottke; Matthias Krier; Mike McCue; Rick Powers; Connie Takamine; and Ginny Wells.
To learn more about the life of Thelma Haydon, please click HERE to read her obituary.