What a day! On July 17th this congregation surprised me with your extravagant generosity. Knowing that we are in a bit of a stewardship summer slump, you showed up. A pleasant Sunday morning was made even more pleasant by your fellowship, good humor, and a touch of competition at the Tanzanian Style Auction. The time and talent you put into those auction items was a true blessing to us. It was so fun to watch you bid on a basket of cookies only to take one out for a quick snack and send the rest up to the auction block again. This was a Sunday of extravagant generosity.
It was a needed shot in the arm. Those of us who are in leadership positions have seen this summer financial slump rearing its ugly head. It was brought on by some unexpected expenses such as a month of paying for 2 pastor’s salaries to finish up the contract with our interim pastor, the summer vaca dry spell, and some not so normal inflation.
The interesting thing about this is that this little blip has not matched the energy of what is happening in our community. We have been welcoming new members, and meetings have been taking place getting fall activities in order. Momentum is building and we seem to be having a good time. At least I am having a good time. I hope you are too!
We are including a summer stewardship envelope in this month’s newsletter. We don’t expect that everyone will be able to give. Many of you are giving generously already and we thank you so much. But some of us, such as myself, realize that we have a bit of make up to do for the Sundays we have missed and would have been putting in our offerings. This is just a friendly reminder.
I want to take a moment and say thank you to those of you who have made some generous contributions in this last month. As your pastor I do not give myself access to giving records, but I do get a report like the rest of you on our overall offerings. We are well on our way to closing the deficit gap. That is exciting. It means that we can charge full steam ahead, with mission, worship, service, and faith formation. It means that we are leading with trust rather than fear, heart rather than anxiety. That is so good! What an exciting time to be with the Holy Spirit.