December 2020 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Happy Holidays…
It is remarkable to reflect on our present times, mainly because one would never have thought it possible our world would be enduring in such a way as we are with COVID19. It has changed the way we do life as we know it and has for quite some time. As a pastor who craves human interaction (as I’m sure a great deal of people do), such a time as this has created a whole host of thoughts and dilemmas. As we now enter the Advent Season, those thoughts and dilemmas are magnified as the holiday season is one of togetherness, it is a time of love, a time of family and of faith.
 
We will be stepping aside our path of promises through the Old Testament to talk about the promises brought to us through Jesus
during this special season. It is precisely the promises given to us that remind us we have everything we need to get through a time such as this. In fact, in the Second Book of Peter, he gives us the words to remember this specifically….
 
 “ 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
 
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self -control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But
whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”
 
Are we not challenged in these times to possess many of these attributes, I mean, perseverance is a given…self-control is somewhat
difficult….and if we allow, we can be moved to godliness, which allows
us mutual Affection, which moves us to love.
 
Something which can be totally profound! “He has given us very great and precious promises….” This is how we survive, on the promises of God, given to us through Jesus. “He has given us very great and precious promises….” Which Peter then tells us they help us to participate in the divine nature….which can be interpreted to mean that we can walk hand in hand with our God…we can step aside from what the world offers, even the struggles…we can be filled with Joy, Hope, Peace….Love! The gifts of Advent!
 
So the meat as to what we’re getting at is that for us to navigate this time well, leaning on the promises of Jesus, focusing on the gift of His
life becomes necessary and central to living a life of faith, of developing deep relationships in Christ, which take us to LOVE. We are not only challenged to embrace such attributes, but the struggle of these times almost feed our ability to lean in on them, rely on them.
While we may not understand what is happening, while we may find ourselves full of emotions and questions, we can relate to the people
in our biblical history and take their guidance.
 
As we navigate these times, let us also be thankful for the gifts of these times and their ability to move us to love. Standing on the promises…May God guide us every day!
 
Christmas blessings,
 
 

Read more...

November 2020 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Greetings dear faith family,
As we continue through this very interesting time, which is challenging us in many ways, we also continue to lean upon our God who has made numerous promises. And though it seems like we turn around and another branch of this time takes our breath away. We continue to pray and hope, using this time as an opportunity to grow in our faith.
We live in this land of promise freely, it is a tremendous gift. And the best part of this gift is that, as we receive it, as we embrace it and as we learn from it, we go deeper in the knowledge that we have a God who loves us so much that he has provided everything we need to survive in the here and now, while also securing eternal life for us.
In our recent services, we have spent time with Noah, learning that trust was essential in the request God made to Noah. We found it interesting that Noah, nor anyone, had ever heard of rain. This made it even more fascinating that Noah followed God’s direction to the letter. God had rendered Noah faithful and worthy to take on the task. Noah, and all of us were given a promise through a rainbow that we would never face death by a flood from God’s hands again.
Abraham came on the scene when he was 75 years old, but we know little about him. God chose him because he believed. He wasn’t perfect, but he agreed to follow God’s direction to leave his home and go for a land God directed…but the most significant piece of this was that Abraham believed. Period. He even got a little testy at one time…we get this don’t we?
 
It’s not easy limiting our social experiences. But despite this, his belief was solid, that’s why God chose him…and he went on to be the father of many nations, filled with promise. And as such as God has made it possible, we, too, are heirs of this promise. The promises of God are many, it is hard to put the words to all that God expected of us, but jumping in and learning…going deeper…embracing the history…taking the time and giving value to all that he left us, makes a tremendous difference not only in our faith, but in our lives.
We might not feel confidence in what our tomorrows hold right now, but in the promises of God, we have more hope than we could ever find anywhere else. Join us on Sundays for a while and learn about some of these promises and what they mean for us.
 
Be blessed dear faith family…
 
                       
 
 

Read more...

September 2020 – From the Pastor’s Desk

It has been a month that did not turn out the way I had planned. Instead of spending it trying to find renewal and breath, I was filled with a full month of loss, love, concern, grief and family. In the midst of it, God’s presence was even more obvious than normal. It made me think even more deeply about how God is present especially in those moments when we need him the most.
 
You might have read a piece in John 4 about a soldier who had asked Jesus to go with him and heal his son who was very sick. I read this in a recent devotion, and I thought it a great piece to share with you. Jesus had commented something to the effect about how people only believe what they see. He turned to the soldier and told him to return home and his son would be okay. The scripture then says that the soldier took him at his word and departed.

Two things stood out for me in this piece. First, the comment Jesus made about having to see signs and wonders…the other, when the soldier took Jesus at his word “and departed.”
 
I had to sit and think about this, especially in light of the month I was having…how often do I ask Jesus to give me a sign. As I pondered that, I reflected about how early in my faith my need to see signs and wonders was much more childlike…” send me a sign, Jesus, I need to see how.” As time went on, it has become more like a sense of peace in all things, and a reassurance that the signs and wonders come without having to ask…but the important part is that I don’t have to ask, I simply need to believe they are there.
 
The soldier, after having asked Jesus to help his son, waited for a word from Jesus, received it and then went back to his family. There was no pleading, no questions, no disagreement. Nothing like I remember from Jesus as I struggled to grow my faith, just a simple acceptance. We know that when the soldier returned home, his son was healed. The soldier’s faith had served him well. His prayers were answered, and his request was granted.

For us, it is a peaceful feeling to know that as we grow, our faith is strengthened, and our journey
deepened with every experience we encounter. It is a peaceful feeling to know that in every moment our God is present, and it isn’t necessary to have to see signs and wonders to validate our faith. It is so much more peaceful to know that God’s presence comes to us especially in times of need.
 
God is Good!         Be Blessed!
 

Read more...

August 2020 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Greetings Dear Faith Family,
 
I would like to share with you from the book…
“Come Away My Beloved” by Francis J. Roberts.
 
This book of prayer has been an inspiration and a Godsend in many ways, the words touching my spirit especially in ways I needed most. I share with you “The Healing Power of Joy”.
 
“You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into Joy.” ~ John 16:30.
 
Say not within your self, “Where is God?” for I am within you, yes, even in your heart, and my hand is upon you. You have looked in vain for Me because you have sought to see me in circumstances and in people and have said, “I cannot find him.”
 
Oh, my child, Look to Me directly, and rest your heart in me. Do so with as little distraction as would be easy to do if you were the only human being in the world and therefore would have no one else to look upon and no one else with whom to converse.
 
Praise Me. This I ask of you in times when it seams indescribably difficult to do so. I ask it of you in love that is stern at this point because I know unequivocally that praise is your only hope for survival.
Distress of soul and grief of heart can only bring on destruction of body. Joy alone is a healer, and you can have it in the darkest hour if you can force your soul to rise to Me in worship and adoration. I have not failed you and you have not failed Me. It is only that you have failed yourself or the disappointment has come on the human plane, not on the divine. Why should you allow any human experience to alter or affect your divine relationship with your Father?
 
Bring me your sorrow, and watch for the sunrise of the resurrection. Yes, truly there comes always a resurrection—a morning when hope is reborn and life finds new beginning. Wait for it as tulip bulbs anticipate the Spring. The rarest blooms are enhanced by the coldness of winter. The snow plays her part in producing Spring’s pageant. But when the blossoms break through, we do not then turn back to thoughts of winter, but instead we look ahead to the full joys of the coming summer.
So you must do also. Your God is your Maker. He is your defender. And He is mighty to save. Yes, he is might to save not only from sin, but He is mighty to save your from despair, from sorrow, from disappointment, from regret, from remorse, from self castigation, and from the hot, blinding tears of rebellion against fateful circumstances. He can save you from yourself, and He loves you when you find it hard to love yourself.
Let his peace flow in you like a river, carrying away all the poison of painful memories, and bringing to you a fresh, clear stream of pure life and restoring thoughts.
This is not the end. Press On. The goal line is out ahead, and you yet may be a winner in the race of life.
 
                              Be Blessed!
                             

Read more...

July 2020 – From the Pastor’s Desk

To say that we are in strange times, in my opinion, is an understatement! Even as we attempt to move to business as usual, we are continually reminded that business is NOT as usual. The corona virus is causing all of us to rethink life in general and wonder as to what our future is going to look like. Many things are being redone, revamped, adjusted and even in some ways “discarded.”
In one sense, even though this is a major life challenge, it challenges us to think in depth about our relationship to our faith.
 
  • Have we spent the time evaluating who we are in Christ?
  • Do we feel we have a relationship with Christ?
  • Are we satisfied with the level of our faith and the way to which we live it out?
  • Has Christ been present during this crisis?
  • Is Christ present with me in my life, especially when I face challenges?
  • Would I like to go deeper, learn more, spend more time in my faith, building my faith relationships.
  • Would I like to know more about Jesus?
  • Is this time causing me to want more deeper knowledge?
 
The leaders of our faith family have been in conversations continually about the ways we move through this time. We have also talked about and are developing thoughts and ideas as to what we can do to build on our strengths, while also taking into consideration our weaknesses and the needs we have, and will have moving forward. Please stay tuned…and share what is on your
mind, suggestions, and guidance as you feel lead.
 
We will continue offering worship as we have…using Facebook, the radio broadcasts, cable television, posting videos on YouTube and in our sanctuary.We have taken several precautions to eliminate as many Touch points as we can; every other pew is taped off, 6 foot spaces are marked between family units, offering tables are set up, sanitizer and face masks are available, doors are held open, pew bibles and hymnals are removed. We greet each other by waving and we end the service simply….no hugs…at least physical ones. We do everything we can to be safe according to CDC guidelines. Having said that….it is still your decision to move through this time of COVID – 19 the way YOU FEEL the safest to do so. There will be no judgement nor disappointment to any of the ways you choose to care for you.
 
Please know this! God is in charge and we trust God will bring us through this the way God desires to do so. We ask only that you continue to support your faith family in your witness, your prayers, your gifts, your service and your presence. There are many ways to live this out…

Be blessed!
 

Read more...

June 2020 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Greetings everyone!

I pray for each and every one of you during this continued time of separation.We are currently trying to discern the best way to move forward and with each step we take, we keep you in mind!  We will have an outdoor service and will use this time to be together and talk!  We haven’t gotten to do this as a faith family very much and I look forward to seeing you and talking about what it’s been like for
you, the things you have learned, and how you might see us move forward. It would be good for us and I think, in a sense, we need it!  We have quite a special space in our backyard and it will be perfect for us to gather!
“The New normal” is getting to be the catch phrase recently and I wonder if anybody has really thought about what “normal” might look like in our future. For me, in the ups and downs of what has been for the last three months, I have discovered that my “new “normal” continues to be my relationship with Jesus and, if anything, it has moved deeper and gained strength. I am grateful for that, which reminds me how I have learned to be more grateful for my own normal and doing that normal with Jesus.
 
I have realized more so than ever that this normal with Jesus allows for consistency and stability, no matter the storm, just as Jesus has
taught us. I pray that each of you, too, have grown closer to Jesus and you have discovered in your own way how important it is to be
close to Jesus, to walk in relationship with Him, striving to make Him your best friend and keeping Him at the CENTER of your lives.
 
If I have learned anything, I have learned that the world around us is not consistent and stable, we will always face something.
Hopefully not ever as serious as the storm of which we are in the middle. But how do we know? Can we be sure? Paul encouraged
us to be IN the world, but not OF the world…very appropriate for our here and now…he goes on to say that we should be transformed
by the renewing of our mind.We renew our mind by being in relationship with Jesus and learning from him and being nourished by Him in doing so.
One of the ways I do this is by reading this wonderful devotional called, “Come Away My Beloved,” and it was given to me by someone very special!The words, on a regular basis, feed me and nourish me. I would like to share one of the paragraphs from this book…
“Behold, I have sent you out alone, but I have gone ahead to
prepare your way; yes, through the darkness to bear a light. I ask
you only to follow Me for I will surely lead you on a safe path,
though dangers lurk on every hand. Yes, I will be your protection. I
will be your comfort. I will be your joy.”
~ Come Away My Beloved
 

Read more...

May 2020 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Faith Family,
What an interesting time it is right now! The thoughts going through our minds are, at least for me, nothing like I have ever experienced! It is a challenge to discern direction and best practices in a time that has not been experienced before. Who would have thought we would be into our second month of not having church together in our sanctuary every Sunday? Totally surreal!
 
Certainly we benefit, in a way, from the time of being set aside from the busyness, the scrambling to make sure everything comes together on a regular basis, the running from here to there, and what had become often the everyday reality that is our lives. We have been forced to look at life differently! It’s interesting to hear how many people lately have said that they are tired of their own cooking! I add my respect and honor to those who have had to take on the role of being teachers now, in addition to being parents! Life is different!

However, one must acknowledge how simply our own ability to be in charge of our lives has been altered…. a stark reality that often we fall short of thinking about…life is not always in the palm of our own hands!

It reminds us of the very precious life we are gifted with and how significant this faith walk we are encouraged to embrace really is! Faith teaches us that God has us in the palms of His Hands! Our God who created us in the very beginning calls us to deeper, to stronger, to more peace, to love and relationship, not only with each other, but with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
 
We have been spending time following friends of Jesus after his death on the cross, a time when their lives seemed upended. We have talked about and watched how the disciples held on to their faith and deepened their relationship and went on to be strong advocates for Jesus in the wake of distress. How did they do this?What was it like? We are learning that having peace and allowing time for God to speak was (and is) important. We have opened the idea of trusting and surrendering and spending time with our faith, in God’s Word, in quiet and through the idea of peace.
 
Remember, BE STILL, PEACE BE WITH YOU!

Friends, we are in different times! It will be a moment in our history we will never forget and hopefully never have to experience again! But, as I type this, I also pray you will use this time to honor God in your life and allow God’s Spirit to shape you in ways you have only been able to think about until this moment.
 
As we learn from the followers of Jesus following their own stressful and very different times, let us embrace the time God has allowed us to go deeper with him!

Be blessed!
 

Read more...

April 2020 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Greetings Dear Church,
Who would have thought…You know, I have said that and typed that more often than I would have liked to over these last weeks…But it’s
 true, isn’t it? Who would have thought we would all be sheltering in place, practicing social distancing and trying to stay as connected as
 we can to each other and our faith family?
Manny and I and some of our youth just returned from a youth trip in Des Moines when everything began to get very serious, in fact; we were learning about school dismissing for two weeks on Sunday morning when we were getting ready to head home. The kids, of course, were animated and it sat us down to talk about the COVID 19 virus and what it could mean for life as we knew it. But I have to say, we never imagined it would have turned into what has now become the day to day life before us.
When we go away on youth trips such as this, it becomes our habit to take turns praying at appropriate times, giggle at appropriate times,
discuss biblical topics, laugh out loud at appropriate times, share the things we have learned throughout our day, smile and poke fun at
appropriate times, and put our day in motion with the things God expects of us. And oh yeah…the food…very important!
 
And in the midst of these things, as we were discussing some of the things we had learned throughout the day, one of the kids just happened to say something profound…and yes, profound because of its impact… but even more profound because of what is now our day to day life.
“I learned that sometimes we don’t understand what we are learning or experiencing at the moment, but one day it will make sense.”
 
Obviously, this became our theme for much of what was left of our time and will become something so significant, they just might not get
the depth of that single statement for a long time to come.
Today, we maybe just don’t understand what this is all about, but one day we will. The important part is that we know God has us in the
palms of hands…watching out for us, working out the tomorrows ahead of us…we are called only to trust!
Wow, kids…how cool is that? Thank you for reminding me, that this is all in the hands of God! And someday…well, someday it will all make
sense!
From Proverbs:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
AMEN! Hang in there….we will get through this! God promises!
 

Read more...

Mar 2020 – From the Pastor’s Desk

 
We are already approaching March…will it come in like a lion or a lamb. Don’t forget we are now in the Lenten Season and our Wednesdays and Sundays will be full of activities. And hopefully we will be welcoming some great weather along the way. Stay connected to all that happens here with our website, our phone app, bulletins and newsletters.
 
As we continue our series on learning about the administrative work of our church, we will venture a little deeper into the role of those on the Church Council. As we shared last month, the Church Council is made up of Chairpersons from the various committees represented on the Council. It is there that the Chairpersons bring the activity and decisions their committees have been involved in for the last period of time.
 
The Church Council is to be the formal place committees go for final approval for their actions. As an example, the Trustees put in the work of determining the need and best way to move forward with the decision of doing the heating and cooling project, but before they could move forward, the Church Council needed to give its final approval and recommendation.
 
Currently we have Chairs and Representatives from the Trustees, the Staff Pastor Parish Relations, Worship and Music, Membership and Missions, Schwartz Scholarship, Endowment, Memorial Committees. We also have a Website and Technology leader, two young adult representatives and three representatives for the Education area. We have a Lay Member of Annual Conference and a Lay Leader, as well as two members at large.
 
As we move through this series, we will describe all these areas in detail. The Chairpersons of the above committees are in charge of planning meetings and activities specific to their work area, including the dissemination of information. If anyone has any questions about
the work of the chairpersons or specific work areas, please feel free to ask. We will begin to share information about the various committees and their work in the coming months.
 

Read more...

Feb 2020 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Hello Everyone,
As part of the new year, we have decided it appropriate to share about how our church works. For the next few months we will be sharing
about the structure of our church. This month we will focus on our Church Council.
Basically, it is the Church Council’s job to coordinate its business of the church in the following ways: its committees, hearing reports,
encouraging direction and supporting recommendations in an effort to keep the church flowing in its vision.
The Church Council:
• Plans and administrates the organizations of the church.
• Empowers the vision and programming of the church
• Meets at least quarterly.
• Sets goals, authorizes actions, determines policy, receives and accepts/rejects motions presented to the council.
• Validates budget, sets financial plans.
• Members present and voting at any duly announced meeting constitutes a quorum.
 
All committees are responsible to the church council; including Reporting, planning, financial approval and final acceptance of recommendations.
 
Below is a demonstration of the basic organization of a local United Methodist Church. The diagram shows which member or committee
is responsible to answer or report progress, concerns or any church based recommendations to.
 
 
I hope that this will shed some light on what it is the Church Council is here for and how it works to keep our faith family growing and working together efficiently to do so.
 

Read more...

Jan 2020 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Happy New Year everyone!
 

It is a special time; we are entering a new decade…it’s 2020! When I reflect on that it seems almost unbelievable! Memories of past years flash through my mind and I realize I have been in ministry in one way or another for 25 years! I think of all the people I have been blessed with working alongside throughout the years and the special times we’ve shared, the friendships we’ve gained. Just recently, I reminisced about a youth trip way back in 1996 to Chicago and all the great memories of that time! Wow! I am humbled by the awesome responsibility I have been given and the ways God has used this path to create and accomplish many things!


We have just celebrated the bringing in of a new year. 2020 has arrived and with that we have another blank calendar to begin filling in with our ministry goals, our vision and what our tomorrows look like in light of God’s guidance! One day at my desk, I had come across my introduction flyer from when I was to be appointed to this church in 2012. It speaks to what I hoped was to be our shared ministry… I described my leadership style as a partnership. Feeling “very strongly that working together is the best way to accomplish anything and having the love of Jesus at the center of all we do is vital. When we ground it all there first, our path will be very strong. God doesn’t lead us astray and often shows us amazing things along the way!
 
How true that has been. Throughout the eight years, when we have worked together, we have accomplished so much! During the month of January, we try to celebrate leadership and recognize some of the things we have experienced together and how it impacts us. We lift up the gifts and graces God has blessed us with and let everyone know who is responsible for what on our leadership ladder.
 
We have been most blessed with the warming of our spirits and our relationships! And I give praise and thanks for the ways God has moved among us! I am most thankful for those who have been open and willing to step into and going deeper with leadership responsibilities. I have a strong aversion to “do it my way” leadership and find that working together accomplishes far more than what anyone could do on their own. What is happening around us currently certainly reflects this thought!
 
Please join us on January 12 and help us celebrate leadership in our church! I also want to give sincere thanks to those who have worked hard to hang in there and participate in leadership roles, YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE! And for those of you who continue to participate in the positive things taking place here…I give thanks for you, as well! God is good and continues to bless us…your leadership is important and needed!

Here’s to 2020 in God’s ministry together!
 

Read more...

December 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

Thank you,
Faith Family for all the ways you have been present this year.  It is a special thing to watch your faith grow and your connection with Jesus find more depth.
 
I am also thankful for your care and concern in these last months. It has been a challenging 2 years and my family, and I would not have made it without you.
 
We have much ahead of us, much for which to anticipate and be excited!
 
May God bless you all at Christmas and in the New Year!
 

Read more...

November 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

One Sunday, not too long ago, several of us stood at the altar of our church and prayed for God’s continued presence and direction. As we now do every Sunday, we ended this time of prayer with a very obvious and dedicated “AMEN!” It was then that some of us looked to
the back of our church and saw the fellowship, laughter, talking and connection that was happening. We felt blessed!
 
For those of you who enjoy research, you may be able to find reports that most church members would describe their church as friendly. But once you go deeper in that research, the guests would typically find those same experiences as unfriendly. In doing some checking into the same kind of research within our church, one would find many of the opposite things to be true. Most guests and new members would tell you that our church is of the warmest.
 
In Acts 2:42-44, God’s Word says,
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and
to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common.”
 
Notice that when Luke wrote this account of the early church, he didn’t write, “See what great buildings they built.” He said, “See how
they love one another.” A recent author wrote that this is “a crucial mark of a world-changing church. A church that makes a difference in
its community is one that truly loves one another.”
 
Rick Warren writes, “when God has a bunch of baby Christians and soon-to-be baby Christians, he looks for the warmest incubator he can
find. God blesses a warm church with new believers because he doesn’t want them in the church of the Frigid-Air. He wants them in a warm environment where they can grow.”
 
In the beginning chapters of Acts, we keep hearing how the early church was unified…and we know the scripture that speaks about God
adding to their numbers everyday. Luke talks about heart and purpose and spirit….unity, and being united in thought throughout those
chapters….It is love and caring and concern that holds relationships together.
 
In spite of the more common concerns that most churches have, (concerns we will certainly take care of, thanks to the presence of God),
one thing we can hold up and embrace, is the relationships and love that is growing in our faith family. More than ever there is a unified
spirit among us…a spirit that strives to work together to bring us even closer to a God who loves us so…..Let’s keep celebrating the ways the Spirit is moving and how God is working among us…..
 
Way to go church….keep it up!
 
                                             Hugs,
                                                       

Read more...

October 2019 – From the Pastor’s Desk

 
The Old Testament tells us God’s people followed the law of tithing. To accomplish this commandment, Church members give one-tenth of their income to the Lord through His Church. These funds are used to grow the Church and promote the truth of the Lord throughout the world. We are called to live by this principal throughout our lives. We also promise to do so when we are confirmed or profess our faith in the United Methodist Church.
 
A five-year study that culminated a few years ago, revealed that “only 10-25 percent of the families in the church tithe.” If we would try to put a picture to that, we learn that out of the 247 million US citizens who claim Christianity as their religion, only 1.5 million tithes. The math tells us this is less than 1%.
 
We talk continually of what it takes to support our church and not only through money, but also in way of service, presence, prayers and witness, just like it says in our membership promises. But for some reason, we find ourselves cringing when it comes to talking about our finances. It is a real piece of this church and what we are doing.
 
Let’s think about this study and put our own words and pictures to this…We have approximately 175 active members, let’s say they average about $15,000 in an annual income and multiply that by 10%, which is the tithe that God calls us to, our church would receive $262,500 annually for their yearly budget. Say instead, there is an average annual income of $25,000 and they decide they can only give 5%, that gives us $218,750 for our annual budget. While the first amount offers money on top of our budget, both scenarios would support our current ministry, but you see the difference….and though the point is not so much about having enough, its more about the idea of giving back to God, who then works at providing ways for us to share his love in more ways.
 
Besides that, we know that often we fall below tithing. And often, we look at our giving to church differently than what the Bible tells us.
 
What if every member of our church tithed? Would we be able to make an even greater difference in our church, community and/or world if we were to give as God called us to? How many more people could be reached with the gospel if we had the means to share it even more? We already touch many, many people through the things in place now. We have added regularly to our membership for a bit now and this is not the norm in the United Methodist Churches, and we can thank Jesus for bringing people to us. Can you imagine if we were to continue to add to our membership? What a blessing that would be!
 
Many of you have all kinds of stories about how God has provided amazing moments of clarity and presence. This letter is written to try and prompt a thought process and call all of us to a deeper sense of prayer about how we support our church. There is not a doubt that we can raise a great deal more than the numbers provided here. Throughout the next three months, you are going to hear lots about giving and supporting your church, so please be prepared. We will also do several things to try to raise the money we need to meet our budget for the end of the year:
 
  1. The Bison Feed, please come, as this is one way a family uses their resources to helps us raise dollars for our budget. We are thankful for that opportunity and we need to be a part of it.
  2. Our Dessert Auction at the end of the month, another wonderful way to support our Church and receive in return.
  3. In November we will be putting up a “Thanks” giving board with 100 envelopes on it. You will have the opportunity to choose an envelope and give the corresponding dollars written on it. Another painless, but simple way to support your church.
  4. Our annual Holiday Letter will go out mid-November/December.
 
We are also going to collect notes and letters from people who are a part of this Faith Family in varieties of ways, in order to hear from others how they feel about what happens here. Please read this note and those to come in the manner they are written. Giving and supporting your church is one of the most difficult yet fulfilling and meaningful pieces of church life, and something very important to our ministry to all of God’s people. It is also important to note that many churches are struggling right now.
 
We have made a difference in many lives and we can make a difference in even more people’s lives with your help. And remember, that is more than just dollars and cents! We need you as well! You are sometimes the only Bible some people will meet.
We need to continue building our strength to do so…
isn’t that a great thing!?
 
 

Read more...