In December we prayerfully requested your financial support for three special projects: updates to Whispering Pines, upgrading the Auditorium sound system and reducing our debt.
We are thrilled to report that due to your generosity and God’s blessing, we are closing the books for 2018 with contributions and income having exceeded expenses for the year. As promised, we are now ready to proceed with these projects, projected to be approximately $300,000. We are proceeding with the much-needed improvements at Whispering Pines and sound system upgrades. In addition, as steward’s of God’s resources provided to this church, as part of our planning for 2019, we have assessed the church’s financial status and we are also making a large, lump-sum payment which will reduce our debt while keeping healthy operating and reserve funds. None of this would have been possible without God’s blessing through your gifts.
As we look forward, the eldership desires to continue to lead in faith. In 2018 we set our weekly giving budget at $42,000. After an encouraging year of exceeding that budget on average, we plan for 2019 through faith to increase the weekly budget back to $44,000. This allows us to begin working toward several goals, including increasing the church’s reach into the community and equipping our families to handle the many challenges they face today. We ask that you prayerfully consider how you might join this journey of faith with your time, talent and financial support in 2019.
What does an increased emphasis on reaching the community and addressing the needs of our families look like? As the elders and ministers considered that question, one area we began to think about was the Family Counseling Center that is directed by Brian Sheppard.
Brian is a part of our church here and a licensed marriage and family therapist. He has worked with our Counseling Center for over a decade, and, as most of you know, the Center is currently open two days each week to serve our families here at this church at no cost to the family. This is a great service which we will continue. However, we feel that this wonderful resource could be used more effectively and in a greater way. We are excited to announce that the Counseling Center is increasing from a two-day-a-week Center to a five-day-a-week Center in March. Brian will be increasing his time with us and will be our full-time Counseling Minister. By expanding the operation, we are not only able to continue serving the families that attend this church, we will also be offering services to the community, including those with lower incomes. The elders have full confidence and faith that this endeavor allows Jesus to be shown in a real and tangible way to the community.
- the elders