Dear Grace Baptist,
It's May, FINALLY, and I'm proud I haven't been complaining about the rain any more than you real Washingtonians. It certainly has been a long, wet winter, and I, for one, am glad it's over. But I'm also thankful for the rain. The grass in my little yard is almost as thick and lush as the weeds. I'm sure if I had taken the time to spread some weed-killer and grass-feeder last fall, the grass would be even thicker than the weeds.
Sometimes I forget to prepare. But this spring isn't one of those forgetful times. This spring I want to make sure we spread some expense-killer and income-feeder on our balance sheet. Wes and I briefed everyone about our financial situation during the April Sunday School time. We are running a deficit, though I'm sure you all know that. So the Council has okayed a fundraising plan that I'm asking you all to vote on on May 28th. I'll review the plan then, but I'd also like to say a word about it here.
There are three sources of money that churches rely on these days. One is member offerings, of course. Another is grants, and we're looking for grant opportunities that would be appropriate for Grace. The third is the neighborhood. Marcia Patton introduced me to this third piece, and luckily we've already started down that road by just faithfully reaching out through our Halloween, Christmas and Easter events. The idea is that churches these days open themselves up to their neighborhoods to provide services that can build a stronger neighborhood. In time the neighborhood realizes how valuable the church is and then starts supporting it financially. So the fundraising plan you'll vote on increases our neighborhood outreach from once a quarter to once a month. We've already made good progress in becoming an important neighborhood anchor in Skyline. Now we just need to pick it up a little.
It's going to be important to increase member offerings and find some grants. But I emphasis the neighborhood piece because it is both fundraising and missional. This is an opportunity for us to help the church and serve our neighbors as Christ would have us serve, at the same time.
You have always been a good and faithful people. I'm sure that with prayer and a little expense-killer and income-feeder we'll get to where we need to be.
God Bless you,