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This week’s note from Rev. Bill

Why do we need a Summer Reserve Fund?

               Here in Southwest Florida we have a unique situation that most churches in the US do not face – a RADICAL seasonal shift!

               I first experienced this when I was pastor at Estero – we were averaging around 200 in the summer when I first arrived, and everyone told me, “Get ready for season!” 


               When “season” arrived (usually starting in October, and then increasing heavily in January and February), I began to get an idea of how different things could be! Increase of traffic, lack of parking spaces – and a HUGE influx of people coming to church! 

               And then, it all comes to an end. Usually around Easter time, people start to go back up north. I remember specifically one Easter when we had over 1400 in church – and the next week we had 250! That’s more than a 75% drop!

               Here at our own church in Bonita, we experience something similar. This chart shows our attendance and giving for 2023: 

As you can see, our biggest attendance is usually January-May and then again November-December. 

The Giving chart indicates that our largest gifts usually come in season also – which means that, in the summer months, we don’t always cover the costs of electricity/staff/maintenance and other needs. We are spending more than we take in!

We have been blessed to have some savings to fall back upon, but those will not last forever. That’s why we created the Summer Reserve Fund, so that we can continue to do ministry in those lean months when we fewer people are here to give. We do have some of our Northern family who continue to support us over the summer, and we are GRATEFUL! It means that you believe in what we are doing here! 

Let’s come at this from a different direction – this is not MONEY we are talking about; this is MINISTRY! The financial gifts that you give are used to:

  • Feed hungry people (Community Breakfast and Meals of Hope support)
  • Provide a roof for those who are homeless (Love, INC.)
  • Visit the sick (Home and Hospital visitations)
  • Teach the Word (Weekly messages, New Horizons)
  • Welcome the stranger (Community Breakfast, Spanish classes)
  • Spread Good News throughout the land (Online worship and classes)
  • Care for our own (Visitation, Prayer group, Sunday School, Worship)


When you are able to give financially to this church, we are able to do more to draw people to Christ. And we are grateful for your trust and support!

Peace be with you all – 

  • Rev. Bill

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