In the most recent Tumbleweed newsletter, I let you know that I’m both excited and nervous going into this year’s fall stewardship program.
I’m excited because I see and feel that we have made the “curve jump” that Pastor Dan referred to in his sermon last Sunday. We have jumped back to an adolescent phase of our congregational development from a period in which we might have been feeling a little “over the hill.”
We are opening ourselves to the Holy Spirit and that presence and power is working in and through us. There are countless tangible signs: rising attendance, new members, baptisms, a successful capital campaign, the need for new resources to support our children’s and youth ministries, the Crops for PROP garden, and many other indications of growing engagement.
That is all great – but here is what is making me nervous. After several years of small deficit budgets, we will finish 2017 with a larger one, probably $30,000 or more. Looking forward to 2018, the deaths of members (whom we remember on All Saints Sunday, Nov. 5) and departures put us at risk of facing an even larger deficit – one that could impair our ability to sustain our positive momentum.
When I think again about Pastor Dan’s Oct. 29 sermon, though, I can see the hope in this situation. We’ve proven our ability to revitalize our congregation. Through our 2016 capital campaign, we’ve proven our ability to rise to a financial challenge. I hope that, over the next couple of weeks, you will consider a “curve jump” in your giving that helps our church continue to thrive and be where the Holy Spirit get real in our community.
PS: If you missed the stewardship article from the most recent Tumbleweed, click here.