Pastor Mark’s eNote – At the Last Turn of the Year: An Update and Invitation

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     As we make the last turn of the year into a new season for the church, here’s an update on our “God’s Hands, God’s House” campaign.

     As of November 30, we have received 262 commitments.

     Of those, 26 are new pledges.  That’s wonderful.  Thank you for making HMUMC a part of your planning for 2018.

     Fifteen households have jumped back in this year.  These are folks who have pledged in the past but did not turn in a card last year.  Thank you!

     Sixty pledges show increases from last year.  Thank you for taking an important step in faith.

     Forty-four households decreased their estimate for 2018.  Circumstances change; we all know that; but you have continued to prayerfully include your church in your planning.  Thank you.

     Another 117 pledges are unchanged.  Thank you for your continued commitment to Christ.

     Our pledges so far total $1,277,464.  That’s a great start, but if we haven’t heard from you, we’re not done yet.

      The Finance Committee has set a target budget of $2.5 million for 2018, a decrease from last year.  We do not want to spend 2018 making adjustments on the fly to balance the budget; instead, we want to spend the year doing God’s work with confidence and joy.  We are setting a realistic budget that will fuel our ministry in our community and in the world.

     For the three-year debt-reduction campaign, we have received 185 pledges totaling $802,589.  Every penny of that will help us with our mortgage requirements and the reduction of our debt, but, again, if we haven’t heard from you, we aren’t done.

     Our giving is one way we make real the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Our dollars sing, shout, and serve.  So, yes, if you haven’t returned an estimate of giving, we need to hear from you.  At the same time, YOU need to hear from you, too.  Taking the time to plan your giving is a spiritual exercise, a statement of faith, and a personal plan of action for the kingdom of God.

      Please visit www.hmumc.org/stewardship to make a pledge online or visit the Welcome Center to pick up a pledge card and drop it in the offering plate on Sunday morning.

     Now the invitation:

      With December, we have arrived at Advent, a joyous time in the church’s journey through the year.  I invite you to make it a holy season for your household.  Every Sunday holds beauty and blessings, and Christmas Eve is … Well, there’s nothing else in the world like Christmas Eve and our celebration of Jesus’ birth.  All month, we will proclaim and claim the good news that is Emmanuel, God with us, right now.

     This is also a time of year when folks are a little more open to the movement of the Holy Spirit and the “good news of great joy.” That makes December a perfect time to invite friends and neighbors to church.  We’ll even make it easy for you.  At the Welcome Center, you’ll find cards with our Sunday morning and Christmas Eve schedules.  Take as many as you want, and share them.  Love divine, love amazing, love abundant and overflowing, awaits all who step through our doors.

In Christ,

Mark Westmoreland

Author: Jenn Harris

“I am dedicated to helping our church communicate the love of Jesus Christ, and passionate about helping people connect with others and our amazing God.”

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