|. .Weekly Newsletter. .|
October 4, 2015
Hold That Thought…
The upcoming launch of the Love Boat will have a large impact on the life of our church. If you are unfamiliar with this model for our financial stewardship season, let me explain briefly. Beginning October 13, a member of our church will deliver a logbook to each home within our congregation. Your responsibility is to read the carefully written materials, to pray for the level of your commitment, and to respond accordingly.
Then you are asked to assist the process by taking the logbook to another home on the list provided. (The materials are truly self-explanatory.) Amazingly, all members are contacted within just a three-week period. More amazingly, the pledges we gather (some 600+ in total) will provide the foundation for our 2016 operating budget.
As you prayerfully consider the stewardship materials in this year’s Love Boat, I want to encourage you to focus on a specific area. As we begin work on the 2016 budget, we face a significant challenge. We entered this current year knowing that our financial commitment would fall short of our needs. Knowing, as well, that our expenses usually come in under budget, we adopted our 2015 budget in good faith.
For this coming year, the goal is for us to adopt a budget that is truly balanced. And while we will continue to seek ways to be frugal in our spending, the specific need is for our congregation to step forward in our giving. An additional challenge is that our debt service (approximately $150,000/year), which until now has been covered by another source, must be met in 2016. In a season when we have been making capital commitments to build the church of the future, the needs of our church today are clearly in view. All materials for this coming year—Love Boat log books, newsletters, sermons, minutes for membership-- will invite us to increase our total church giving by ten percent. Obviously, each of us will be asked to do our part to make sure all of our ministries are well funded. The goal is well within our reach.
Each member of our church is aware of the biblical standard of the tithe, or ten percent giving of our annual incomes. My hope is that all of our members are approaching this level of commitment, or perhaps have already reached it! If not, let me encourage you to take a positive step in that direction, if at all possible. To do so will do more than meet the needs of a growing congregation. It will ensure the forward movement of our many wonderful ministries here at FPC.
May God bless our most faithful efforts, now and always.
As soon as the word spread, the people gave in abundance the first fruits of grain, wine, oil, honey, and of all the produce of the field; and they brought abundantly the tithe of everything. II Chronicles 31:5
Dr. John C. Brearley