From the Reverend’s Desk

By Reverend Eric Gates

Believe it or not, there is more to Central Christian Church than just what you see on Sunday morning!

Pastor Heidi Bounds and Brad Bounds led our youth to do mission work in New Mexico earlier this year at the Mescalero Apache Nation. Our Faith Community Nurse, Carol Lydic, has been working hard to get us active and healthy by supporting various organizations in the community who address mental health and physical health issues. Our church also provides space for the 12-Step recovery community to meet regularly during the week as well.

All of these things are planned and prepared by leadership and staff who are deeply committed to our becoming who it is God is calling us to be. The ministry and mission of our church take place because of the spiritual and financial gifts our members and friends choose to offer. These are the resources that fuel our mission; and yes, it does cost real money to provide these spiritual things!

The decision to give a gift is a choice, but as a follower of Jesus, it really isn’t an option! Based on what we have received, we are encouraged to give something – out of thanksgiving for what God has done, and as a sign of faithfulness and commitment to be a part of the good things that God is continuing to do in our world. We have the gift of Jesus and we are invited to respond to what God has given us with generosity of our own.

To make that gift means making a decision to give something away that you might use for something else. To do that may require choosing to not buy a fancy coffee, or deciding to carry a sack lunch into the office once a week instead of buying lunch. Your gift matters – it matters to you as the giver, and to the church which utilizes it as a resource for mission.

As a congregation, we are entering a time of discerning what we will contribute monetarily in the coming year. The practice of exercising financial stewardship is a spiritual discipline and a way to grow our faith. There is joy to be found in practicing generosity and it begins with a simple step of a commitment to contribute.

My prayer is that you will be with us during the remaining weeks of our pledge drive, that you are making plans now to attend church on November 19th and that you will join us for the luncheon after the congregational vote to approve the budget for fiscal year 2018. Make sure to complete your pledges for next year, even if you have missed the cut off date! Your pledges and giving are vitally important to the life of the church. The gifts we bring make good things happen. Thank you for being a part of it. The enclosed chart at the end of the newsletter can give you an idea of how others practice generosity and hopefully help you find a comfortable starting place for yourself. Challenge yourself to give in a regular and disciplined way. I promise you won’t regret it.