By Tim Catlett, Lead Pastor, AUMC Family of Faith

On September 18, members of the Apex UMC Family gathered for our annual leadership gathering, a “state of the church” event that provided an opportunity to learn more about the past, present, and future of our faith communities. Over 75 church members were in attendance at our 519 campus in Morrisville.

Todd Davis (519 Steering Team Chair) opened the night by welcoming our teams to 519 and shared a brief glimpse into how this new space is creating opportunities for people to encounter Jesus in Morrisville, Cary, Durham, and other communities across Southwest Wake County. A cross-campus worship team led us in singing praise to God and Eric Weller (Administrative Council Chair) continued our evening by thanking our leaders for serving the church and introducing the other chairs of our Steering Teams and Standing Committees.

Pastor Tim Catlett began by sharing a brief history of how the Apex UMC Family came to be. Our church’s story began in 1870, and the last 147 years have been full of faithful disciples loving God and loving our communities. While experiencing significant growth in the mid-2000s, we engaged in a mission, vision, and values process called Cornerstone.  As a result, our church family made strategic plans to create new spaces for inviting and equipping all to follow Jesus in transforming the world. In 2007, our church voted to expand the Apex UMC campus, which also led to the opportunity for multi-site ministry. In 2010, The Peak became our second campus and Fiesta Cristiana grew from an outreach ministry into a worshiping community. By 2012, construction had begun to expand the Apex UMC campus and that same year, 519 was launched at Carpenter Elementary School, growing our Apex UMC Family to four faith communities. Our leaders celebrated the transformation they have experienced and witnessed in all four of our faith communities.

We also discussed the financial support our church needs to continue ministry in the short- and long-term. Our primary tool for funding the mission and ministry of our church family is through our “All-In” campaign. In 2017, we shifted our annual budgeting methods to combine mortgages and operational expenses into a single church budget. Our Finance Team began this two-year process with two major assumptions. The first was an expected 8% growth in giving in both 2017 and 2018. This growth was projected through the ability of many families to continue their commitments to both our annual operating budget and our capital budget as one combined gift, through the growth in the generosity of our current members, as well as new people choosing to join us on this mission. The second assumption was that any shortfall would be covered by existing capital reserves from our most recent capital campaign, Claiming God’s Future, and unrestricted cash reserves built up over the last four years. Through August, our capital reserves have been spent and we are moving into unrestricted cash reserves to cover the current deficit. In each of our four faith communities this weekend, details were shared in worship and an invitation was made to finish 2017 giving strong by fulfilling pledges and giving generously. We will also begin preparing for 2018 in the coming weeks.

Our leadership gathering provided clarity as to where we stand today and how we want to move forward in the coming years. But more than that, it brought our faith communities together in fellowship and worship. It is through our transforming worship, committed discipleship, compassionate service, and authentic relationships that we will continue to serve God in the years to come. To find out more about the All-In campaign, we will host town hall gatherings on each campus throughout the month of October. Apex and Fiesta will be October 8th, Peak on October 15th, and 519 on October 22nd. Consecration Sunday will be October 29th. You can also find out more and make a commitment for 2018 online.