Pastor’s Friday Comments (05.17.19)

 

This Sunday our congregation will do something we do every year about this time. We will approve the spending plan for the fiscal year that will begin July 1. As you should have seen in the material that was sent to you, next year’s budget will be virtually the same as this year. It certainly isn’t that we would not like to expand programs and ministries. The Finance Committee and staff are simply being objective about what we can expect based on recent giving patterns.

My fondest wish would be that over the next twelve months you, as members of our family of faith, would surprise us. Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, you could recognize that there is so much more that needs to be done to reach the people of our community with the Gospel, that there are ways we could enhance our programs and ministries that would make us more effective in growing disciples, and there are new and creative ways that we can connect with our ministry partners to share God’s love.

I think that over the years you have figured out that I am not much into stressing financial support of the institution. Most of my pastor friends probably think that’s crazy. But I have a lot of faith in you. You’re intelligent people and you have always recognized that if we are going to keep the church called Parkway afloat, one of the necessities is money. You know you need to do your part.

You also know that God has been very generous with you, not just in tangible and financial ways, but in the inexpressible grace of Jesus Christ and his Spirit at work in your life. One of the ways to show your gratitude is through your support of the body of Christ on earth, the Church, through time and talents and money. You have always responded in those ways.

This Sunday’s vote may appear to be nothing more than a formality, but for each of us it should be much more. It should represent a commitment to throw our wholehearted support behind the work that we are collectively engaged in. You won’t simply be agreeing that the Finance Committee has done a good job of deciding how to allocate limited resources (which they have) but that you recognize you have your own part to play in God’s work in our community and around the world. You should vote to support the budget gladly, because it represents an opportunity to join God in the work of loving the world. I hope you do so enthusiastically.