The Life and Times- October-2014

October, 2014

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

 —Psalm 124:8 (ESV)

 

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Over the course of the year we are examining in these missives, the five elements of worship in our life together.  The fourth of these elements, we respond to the Word of God by giving of ourselves in praise and service, is the subject of this letter.

In my last letter to you I addressed the centrality of the Word read and proclaimed to our worship. After the Word is read and proclaimed we have an opportunity to respond.  We do this through making an offering.

The first and foremost offering is oneself to God.  We make a response to the offer of the Gospel.  In essence, we say, ‘yes,’ to God’s ‘yes’ in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 1:20).  It is always appropriate in the worship of God to give ourselves to him.  This is why we offer the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper during this portion of the service.  This is also why we offer the prayers of the people here, as an opportunity once to lift our prayers to God in service to the congregation, the community and the world.

Another way we give an offering to God is through tithes and gifts.  God is the creator of all things, but more than that, through faith in Jesus Christ, is our Father, having adopted us into his family.  Since God is the good Father, he gives us gifts to give.  We return to the Lord a portion of our income and wealth for his glory.  This gives an added benefit of being invested in the Church, especially in our local congregation as we come together to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a hurt, lost, sinful and broken world.  Our Book of Order calls our tithes, “a visible expression of the commitment of believers to the extension of the Gospel, the work of ministry, and the support of the Church of Jesus Christ” (W.2-9B).

Finally, we give ourselves in service to God by serving others.  When we commission or ordain, we do so in this part of the service.  Overall, we should view our response to the Gospel as an invitation to serve others in practical and spiritual ways.

In my next letter, we turn our attention to being dismissed by the Word of God to continue to serve the Lord in the world.  In the meantime, do no forget that this coming Sunday, October 12, is potluck Sunday.  Please bring a side dish or dessert to share!

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Pastor Bill


Treasurer’s Report                         10/7/2014

        The Lord has blessed us in the months of August and September!  Our total income for August was $24,195.49 which was up $5,673 from last month and up $6,158 over August 2013.  Our income for September was $23,269 which was down $3,227 from same time last year.  While total income was up, tithing was down $2,060 over the same period last year.  This is primarily due to the congregation giving more toward designed funds than tithing.  In addition, another church gave our congregation $3,291 to help area fire victims.  The Stewardship & Evangelism Committees are researching the best way to distribute these funds in accordance to IRS tax rules.  Expenses were approximately the same as last year.  The large expenses for the last two months were for our support to missions, property & grounds, insurance, fire alarm systems, and our annual Power Church accounting software.  Designated funds paid for our new Pew Bibles, Sunday School Bibles, a Pulpit Bible, some landscaping, and a security camera system to protect our church from drug users and vandalism.  While designated giving is doing well, tithing pays our operational expenses to include Property & Grounds, Worship, Evangelism, Youth Program, Fellowship, Missions, Administrative support, and salaries budgeted by Session.  Overall operations income and expenses through September leaves us with a $105.46 deficit.  This is a true blessing compared to last year at this time when we had an approximate $25,000 deficit.  With your prayers and support, I believe we can end this year in the black without drawing from our mutual funds.  Our improved financial health demonstrates the Lord is at work in our congregation.  There will be a detailed financial description posted on the bulletin board next to Session minutes.  Please see me for any additional data.  

   Our average monthly tithing for the year is now at $20,066 in meeting our monthly goal of $20,077, the amount needed to meet our expenses in glorifying the Lord.        

2014 Total Monthly Income     

     Jan         Feb       Mar       Apr       May      Jun         Jul         Aug       Sep        Oct        Nov       Dec

  $14,895  $20,006  $20,072  $18,446  $19,462  $21,723  $18,522   $24,195  $23,269   $??,???   $??,???   $??,????

2013 Total Monthly Income     

    Jan        Feb        Mar       Apr       May       Jun        Jul          Aug       Sep      Oct       Nov       Dec

  $16,327  $15,060  $24,862  $14,183  $16,759  $18,592  $14,989   $18,038  $26,496  $16,302  $18,706  $26,486

Our other account balances are doing well: Designated giving accounts $28,856; Edward Jones Reserve Account $21,802; Edward Jones Designated Account $5,876; Allianz Mutual Fund $26,552; American Washington Mutual $71,024; and Franklin-Templeton Mutual Fund $38,018.  Our three mutual funds have increased in value by approximately $9,800 for this year.  Yes, we did have a loss of $2,632 in our funds due to a down turn in the stock market in September.  Remember, designated funds can only be used for their designated purposes.  The mutual/investment fund accounts are for major repair of our building or replacement of interiors or equipment; however they can be used for shortages in operating funds. 

Session has established designated giving accounts for Building Improvements, Kitchen Upgrades, Sound Room Upgrades, Fellowship Events, Deacon Events, Retreats, Youth Camp Scholarships, Youth Program, EPC Missions, Staff Bonus and Fire Victims.  Anyone wanting to give to these designated funds can do so by specifying one of the above accounts on their check or on the offering envelope. 

Our Stewardship Committee has been working hard to establish financial policies to better manage and safe guard our funds.  They have asked me to insert the following:    

In order to best manage the resources that God has blessed our congregation with, the Stewardship Committee, with the approval of Session, has established a new reimbursement policy.  The policy is as follows: expenditures of up to $20.00 accompanied by a receipt will be reimbursed with the approval from the Treasurer or Pastor.  Expenditures between $20.00 and $250.00 must be accompanied by a voucher approved by the Treasurer or Pastor and authorized by one member of the Stewardship Committee.  Expenditures of over $250.00 must be accompanied a voucher approved by the Treasurer or Pastor and authorized by Session.  Receipts must be attached to the voucher prior to reimbursement that will be paid on Thursday each week.  Vouchers can be obtained on-line at our web-site or from the church office.     

Thank you for your support of this policy.

Sincerely,

Elder Dave Jorgensen

Chair of the Stewardship Committee

Copy of Reimbursement Request

 CPC Reimbursement Voucher   Date submitted____________ Date Requested _____________

 

Make check payable to___________________________________________

 

 

 

Mail to________________________________________________________________________________

Address

City

State                                          ZIP

 

 

 

Amount

Account Number-Treasurer

For

 

____________

 

______________________

 

________________________________________________

 

____________

 

______________________

 

________________________________________________

 

____________

 

______________________

 

________________________________________________

 

____________

 

______________________

 

________________________________________________

 

____________

 

______________________

 

________________________________________________

 

____________

 

______________________

 

________________________________________________

 

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TOTAL

 

 

Approved by____________________________________

Checks are routinely issued each week on Thursday.

 

                      Treasurer/Pastor

 

 

Rev. 10/8/2014

Authorized by___________________________________

                      Stewardship Committee/Session                             

           

 

David Bishop

Treasurer  

He will always give you all you need from day to day if you will make the Kingdom of God your primary concern”  Luke 12:31