Just when you thought that the Stewardship Campaign was over and it was safe to come to church, your Treasure has a few words to say.
The other day when I was opening the Red Collection Bag to start the deposit process, for Sunday’s donations, a single penny dropped out of the bag. That penny reminded me of the story where Jesus was watching the crowds putting their money into the Temple Treasury; and, a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. I could only assume that a Child put the penny into the offering Plate. That penny carried the same respect in the deposit process as would a one-hundred-dollar bill. Think how much that penny meant to that child, or to the family of the child. That penny was given to the glory of God to help us with our finances. At the same time, it was helping the child to grow spiritually by making a connection to God through giving.
Maybe it’s time to improve on our spiritual growth by making a reconnection to God through increased giving. You might be asking yourself what is he talking about. We have air conditioning in the summer, heat in the winter, toilet paper in the restrooms and we eat really well during coffee hour. So, where’s the problem? What you do not hear about is the extra contributions a few people are making above their pledges that helps pay for all that. Would you be surprised if I told you that: a parishioner has paid, in addition to their pledge, for all the toilet paper, hand soaps, paper towels, hand towels and trash can liners used here at Christ church, for the past 9 years and on top of all that has paid for the Parking Lot improvement? Or that a parishioner donates extra towards our Country Property Fees, and another donates to Bridging the GAP each week? Let’s not forget the few who donate extra to the Fuel Fund, Insurance Fund, Scholarship Fund, and the paper products, food, and coffee for coffee hour. And, if it wasn’t for the volunteers working hard in the Thrift Store to raise money for the church, we would have closed our door years ago.
As Treasurer it seems that our employees and contractors are happy, our creditors not so. Our parishioners seem to be happy, our treasurers not so. Each month we pay our employees and contractors first and then with the money left over we pay our creditors. This seems to be the new norm for churches now days.
The question is, how do we support a church with a $100,000 plus budget that used to have hundreds of parishioners and now only has 65 men, women, and children in the congregation? I do not know the answer. What I do know is that the average pledge each year is flat lined or going down while our expenses such as water, electricity, paper, insurance, etc. continue to rise.
Everyone’s contribution is important to the success of our church. And as Treasurer I would like to thank you for your continued support. I read that “stewardship is not a fund-raising, it’s a basic discipleship. But in a similar sense, each believer must come to understand that giving is not just about “doing their duty.” Giving is actually a deeply personal indicator of our spiritual maturity as well as out love for God.” With that being said, I ask that you think about reconnecting to GOD through your improved giving. And, although appreciated, try to think higher than that penny.
God Bless you, and thank you for your time.