The Service of Confirmation always gives me hope. As I looked out on Sunday morning and saw all of those young people professing their faith in Jesus Christ and promising to serve “as Christ’s representatives in the world,” I was overwhelmed. In light of all of the bad news we have heard this past week–bombings and manhunts in Boston, a fertilizer plant exploding in Texas, an earthquake in China–it is inspiring and hopeful to see these young people preparing to carry the light of Christ into dark and hurting places.
The Service of Confirmation gave me hope not only for the world around us but also for our congregation. We continue to grow in many ways. We are growing in numbers, yes, but we are also growing in ministry. Just this past week at our Administrative Council meeting, we heard about a new ministry, Justice for Our Neighbors, which is an outreach ministry with immigrants in our community. Also at that Ad Council meeting, we endorsed David Ssebulime as a candidate for ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church. If my counting is right, David is the sixth person we have endorsed since I became Lead Pastor in 2009. That, my friends, is a sign of a faithful church!
As we look into God’s future together, I want to share with you something else that the Administrative Council decided last week. Our faithful Finance Committee has done an amazing job keeping our budget balanced and finances healthy. As they look at our budget, they have recognized how much our mortgage payments cost us each month. They see the strain that our debt puts on our budget, and they have begun to dream about what our congregation could do and be if we were free of that debt.
The Finance Committee and the Administrative Council have cast a vision for us: What if we could be free of debt by 2020? Imagine the ministries we could do if we freed up the nearly $170,000 a year that we currently pay on our mortgage!
The first step toward this goal is a capital campaign this fall to raise $500,000. We plan for 10% of whatever we raise to go toward missions with the poor, as a sign of our continued commitment to the world around us. You will hear more as the fall approaches, but we wanted to invite everyone to our first “Town Hall Meeting” on Sunday, May 5, at 9:45 in the sanctuary.
We have many new members who have joined our church since the opening of the new sanctuary, and this is an opportunity for you to help in a new way. There are others, I know, who participated in the building campaign and in the most recent debt-reduction campaign, and you may wonder why we need another. Please bring your questions, your thoughts, your enthusiasm, or your concerns to the Town Hall meeting on May 5. We want everyone to be informed, to have a voice and to consider what we could be!