As you probably know by now, our stewardship theme this year is fearless generosity.
I admit to being fearless when it comes to charitable giving, but I am anything but fearless when it comes to speaking to a group of people. You qualify as a group of people. Therefore, I am terrified. However, our fearless leader, Dyan, asked me to try to step outside my comfort zone, and speak to you about my feelings about the church budget. Well, I am so far out of my comfort zone that I don’t know whether I’ll be able to find my way back in.
I learned quickly that most people want their money to go for the greater good, meaning their financial offering will help the many worthy organizations we support outside the walls of the church. Obviously, as Christians, we want to help those in need. I think it’s inherent in our humanity to want to so. However, the truth is the largest part of the church budget, at least 65%, must stay right here. I see this as a positive. Our expenses are high as I’m sure everyone knows. We have to pay the usual monthly bills: mortgage, utilities, repairs, cemetery and parking lot upkeep. We are so blessed to have this wonderful facility, which also happens to need to be cleaned…frequently… as in daily. Believe or not, God doesn’t dispatch a little band of angels with swiffers and wet jets to miraculously keep this place clean. No, actually, we pay Charles for that. I am more than happy to pay Charles to keep our facility clean because I’m a big fan of clean bathrooms, and I’ll bet everyone else is, too. Then there are our amazing pastors. I love knowing that part of our offering goes to pay their salaries. Both Dyan and Keith give so much of themselves to us in so many ways and not just on Sunday morning. But even Dyan and Keith would be at a loss without the the administrative staff that keeps everything running smoothly day in and day out. As a secretary, I know firsthand how much work that entails, and we couldn’t get much done without Theresa, Patti and the others. Then there are the people like Livvy Steffens, Dottie Long, Shirley Keiter, and Ray Hopkins who run the Sunday Schools, the adult forums, the choirs, the youth groups, and then, of course, there’s our amazing band These folks are paid a pittance compared to the hours of dedicated service they contribute to make our church such a welcoming place.
Speaking of welcoming, I have never experienced a more welcoming community of people than we have at UDLC. The operating expenses of our church are the “foundation” upon which all other outreach programs are based. Without this foundation, nothing else would be possible. In closing, I ask that you prayerfully consider all aspects of the church budget when you make your pledge this year. It will be a win-win for the whole congregation.