Before I share anything else about this month, I want to thank you all for the wonderful Minister Appreciation Celebration that you gave Andi, Daryl, and myself. Your cards and gifts were so kind, and the love that you showed Sharon and me was overwhelming! We are so honored to serve you as your pastor, and we love you more than our words can express!
This month, much of our church family’s attention is focused on our Ensuring the Vision campaign. As a community of faith, we will together prayerfully commit to the Lord and our church family to give, over and above our regular tithe, in order to pay down our debt as well as begin some much-needed capital improvements to our campus facilities. As your leaders, we are praying that God will enable us to give $250,000 beginning in December of this year through November of 2016. Last month, I gave you all of the details about the whats and whys of the campaign. Let me just fill in a couple of details…
One question that many of you are asking is, “How will the funds be distributed?” Without boring you with too many details, let me line out for you the decision approved by the church family at our last family meeting:
· The first $100,000 will go to make the basic monthly payments on our mortgage;
· The next $25,000 (only this year) will make up an “emergency fund” of three months’ worth of mortgage payments;
· The remaining funds will be divided between additional debt reduction (60%) and capital improvements (40%)
During the first half of November, we will be involved in home presentation/fellowship meetings at four of our family members’ homes: Maxine Thaggard, Paul and Mary Kaiser, Steve and Cretia Wright, and Montey and Barb Johnson. You will be receiving a letter and a phone call inviting you to one of these fun times of fellowship with your church family. Even if you have been giving to our Beacon construction for years, plan to attend one of these fellowship times just for fun! Then, on November 15, we will come together in both services to present our covenant commitment cards to the Lord. While you are welcome to begin giving right away, the official beginning of the Ensuring the Vision campaign will be December 1.
But there’s more to November than a capital campaign! This year, something that we have been waiting for will finally take place: we will celebrate our annual ThanksGathering in the fellowship hall of the Beacon! That’s right...no more renting space and meeting somewhere else; our new fellowship hall will have room for all of us! There will be lots of opportunities to volunteer and help at this event, so be listening for your chance to be a part. On that night, I will announce the total of our Ensuring the Vision covenant commitments for 2016. And we will have a wonderful evening of celebration and thanksgiving for all that God has done during the previous year, both in our individual lives and in our life as a church family!
You know, there are a lot of things that can motivate us to serve the Lord: guilt, greed, pride...but there is really only one appropriate motivator: gratitude! Gratitude for the grace that God has shown us in sending His Son to take our sin penalty. Gratitude for the forgiveness He freely gives when we repent and confess our sins to Him. Gratitude for His willingness to adopt us and make us His sons and daughters. When we look at all that He has done for us in Christ, what a motivation it becomes for us to serve Him, sacrifice for Him, obey Him, and love Him!