On July 9 our congregation received further details regarding the possible purchase of a portion of our property and you voted to sign a Letter of Intent with a potential buyer that would allow them to proceed with exploring the feasibility of a commercial venture at the far end of our property near the cell tower.

I want to commend all of you for the spirit with which that discussion was conducted. Regardless of how you might feel about the proposal, everyone acted with Christian courtesy and respect. I have been in far more contentious meetings in other places over far less critical issues.

We should receive a contract for you to consider soon, but you need to be aware that the buyer still has several hurdles to overcome and, if they are successful, we are a number of months from closing.

Right now I only want to make one observation that is tangentially related to this proposal. Selling a percentage of our property will indeed produce a considerable amount of money. A task force will be commissioned by you to help us decide as a church family how to be the best stewards of those funds. However, should we receive that money, it in no way lessens the responsibility of each member to support the programs and ministries of our church through your tithes and offerings.

As Christians we believe that everything we have is a gift from God and should be used for God’s glory. We further believe that one of the responses we are called on to make is the generous and faithful return of a portion of those resources for the building up of the body of Christ through the church. This is not simply the way the business of the church is done or the institution is perpetuated. It is the means through which God’s love is shared with our community and around the world.

I believe, and I hope you believe, that the work we do together at the nexus of Fulton, Forsyth, and Gwinnett counties is vital to God’s work. I further believe that it is worth continuing, despite the challenges of a community that is becoming ever more diverse, a congregation that is aging, and the reality of a lessening of interest in Christianity in our culture. But that work depends on each of us.

Regardless of the outcome of the land proposal before us now, the on-going ministry of Parkway Baptist Church will rise or fall depending on our faithfulness. What part will you play in carrying out God’s work in our community?