While I'm not 100% sure of the final total, I know that we had 6 new $200 commitments come in last week, which puts us over $5000 from over 20 donors. That means we have hit our full match! I think it has been a huge success.
I agree with Bart and want to invite you to recognize what a huge success this is for all of us. We are facing our financial fitness as a challenge of our vitality, and this is a very concrete sign of our financial fitness moving in a positive direction. The vitality we have witnessed in other areas of our community has at least in part reached the bottom line of our financial fitness. Although this does not completely solve our deficit, like all the other challenges of our vitality we have faced it is so very important to recognize this first, incremental step.
We’ve had many other encouraging signs in the past like having 15 new pledges for 2018 and being on track to fully pay for our capital campaign by the end of the year. We have stepped up to generously support specific missional needs. We have even taken on a new year-round missional commitment, The Sheridan Story, and have with the help a generous donor kept current with our financial commitment. (You can learn more about The Sheridan Story during worship Sunday, July 29.)
With this online matching grant, we have begun the more difficult struggle of bringing our projected income and our projected expenses for the entire year closer than they were before. Our Stewardship/Finance Team is doing its best to be transparent in reporting on our financial fitness. I want to encourage all of us to take a more active role in monitoring our giving as we continue to become a financially fit congregation that is growing in vitality.
One other thing: The other night I was in a meeting where we were talking about online giving and the mechanics of how it worked. One of the folks in the room who is quite computer literate was a bit embarrassed that she had not checked out the online giving option on our website, and the rest of us were walking her through it on my computer.
I was a good guinea pig mostly because I know just enough to get confused on my computer and also because I’d already given to the match. I signed in. Then I remembered my password, which was the hardest part and the miracle of the evening. When it came to the part of putting in a dollar amount, I played along and put in $100 and waited for the prompt to put in my account information. The thing is that since I had done this once before, I didn’t need to. I kept playing along and made the next choice which was… “One time gift.” And then I choose the “General Fund” and then I decided to press, “Donate Now.”
Then I said to myself, "That was a fun way to spend a 100 bucks.” Somebody there asked me, “Did you just really do that?” I said “Yea, it was that easy.”
Now I’m not trying to get any attention for giving an extra $100. I’m telling you it took longer for me to write the last paragraph than it did to address the challenge of our vitality of our financial fitness by giving online. Here is hoping you have as much fun as I did.
Thank you to all those who got our online giving…on line. And thank you to those generous givers who provided the funds for the matching grant and for those who gave until we reached our goal.
Keep the Faith,