I meant to do this post last week as a follow up to our our congregational meeting of 6/23/13. Best laid plans. Better late than never.
If you missed the meeting for whatever reason, here is a summary of what we covered:
Presently we are are roughly $35,000 down relative to what we had budgeted and forecasted for giving for the year-to-date. The good news is that we are mindful of these things and in terms of what we have spent year-to- date we are only $4,000 behind giving. That said, it is never our desire to be behind in giving relative to the budget and certainly not our desire to be behind relative to our actual expenses. Please remember our church in all your giving and be mindful of us during all your summer travel plans. I am pleased to report that yesterday’s giving met our weekly budget requirements, even with a special love offering for Greg and Christina. Thanks be to God. Still, we will continue to watch carefully the numbers . If necessary, we will take a hard look at where we can cut the budget. We will keep you posted.
Capital Campaign Update
Our three-year capital campaign, which came to an end in May, was a huge success! 94% of what was pledged was received ($224k received of $239k pledged). In addition, the efforts to receive outside funds and non-pledged monies was also fruitful, yielding $117k in additional monies to retire our debt. 63% of all pledged givers gave at least 75% of what they pledged and many gave 100% or more of their pledged gift. A huge thank you to all the people that gave sacrificially above and beyond their tithe to help in this fashion. Leadership plans to bring a proposal to us in the future for debt retirement, but we are waiting a bit on that so as not to be a church always in capital campaign mode that wears people out.
Worship Music Transition Update
As the elders faced the prospect of losing Greg from the mix, several considerations came into play. Given a variety of factors affecting the possible folks within the body who might have assumed responsibility for this important ministry and the budget constraints, it became clear to us that Susan Woods was God’s provision for the role. For this we remain very grateful. That being said, we recognize that change brings challenges. We ask that we all be patient with the process. Also, we have built into the transition feedback loops so as to ensure regular evaluation about how things are going. Part of that includes an option for Susan to withdrawal at the three-month mark, if the fit proves unacceptable for her and her family. Furthermore we recognize that we have a need for more musicians to join the mix, particularly at guitar and in leading. We are working on trying to pull others into the team. Finally, we exhort all of us to embrace the opportunity for maintaining a peacemaking ethic in the way we navigate dealing with what arguably can prove pretty tricky for churches. Music preferences often vary greatly in any congregation. We have an opportunity to defer to one another. Let us speak the truth in love as we engage one another in conversation about things. Please refrain from jumping to conclusions about any matters pertaining to the transition. If you have a comment or question, please address them to your elder. We will be glad to help in any way we can. A meeting of the worship team itself has been called for July 13 where I and another elder will meet with the members to discuss the process and pray together for God’s favor. I made this statement in that meeting and I want to repeat it here. I am almost as interested in the success of this transition as I am in what will be revealed in our hearts by the way we deal with it. I constantly battle making my ministry an idol. I want things to go well. When we hit turbulence, my reactions sometimes reveal my demanding, sinful heart. I/we need to be vigilant over our hearts as we seek to come together as a church to see what God has in mind for our worship and music ministry in the days ahead.
So on all three counts – the operational budget, debt retirement, and our music transition, please join me in praying for God’s favor, wisdom, and direction. Many thanks.