Sunday, January 22, 2012

Planned Giving

As the new year begins and the preparation for our tax filings also begin, our  minds turn towards the reality of money in  our personal lives.

We have seen more churches disappear from the spiritual map last year and we have cause to ask, "Will my church be next?"  The answer depends on each individual congregation and each individual in that congregation.  It has been said, "If you want to know where your priorities are, just review your checkbook!"  How true it is.  Do we spend more on cable TV and internet service than we do on our church?  We will spend our money in areas that we decide are most important to us.  It is the human thing to do.

In the present economy, our priorities become even more visible and we are cautious on where we choose to release our personal funds.  PLANNED GIVING is an easy way to determine the value we place on the church we love.  It is simple.....we review our income and determine an ANNUAL DOLLAR AMOUNT that we believe represents the place our church has in our lives.  Then we divide that by 12 months and send that amount to our church on a regular basis.  Some may attend church once a month, others every week.  The annual or monthly donation remains the same.  It is planned, consistent and regular, as any other important living or household expenditure.

If you believe in the ministries of Good Shepherd Church, if you are nourished by our liturgy,  if you enjoy the preaching by our clergy, if you have connected on Facebook, please consider a PLAN to give so that the arms of the Good Shepherd can continue to "gather all safely home."

Sunday, January 8, 2012


How many times have we heard, or even said, "I don't need to go to church; I can pray at home."

Of course you can.  Prayer is prayer anywhere.  What is the value of church then? 

The Christmas season celebrates LIGHT in the experience of the Christ, the "light to the nations."  As we begin the year 2012, many of us may feel "dark", burdened, overly challenged, in a rut, watching friends suffer physically, emotionally, financially.  These are not easy times.  So, where is the light??

As social beings we are interdependent upon each other to "lighten" and enlighten our life.  To experience the light of hope, of strength to endure, of confidence to proceed, and the light that helps us SEE beyond the material and mundane to a reality of the sacred....this light comes to us from others!  The group experience of prayer, the fellowship of acceptance and the community of faith that strengthens us is the gift of a prayerful church.

We have probably opened gifts this Christmas.  And we are grateful for those who have thought of us and gifted us.  The greatest gift of all is one that allows or calls us to be our best. 

Church itself is a wonderful gift of the Spirit......but SOME ASSEMBLY IS REQUIRED!