In his letter to the church at Philippians, the Apostle Paul refers to the church at Philippi as “partners in the ministry of the gospel”. I love that phrase! That’s truly what we are as a faith community. We are “partners in the ministry of the gospel” as we all offer our gifts, talents, abilities, and resources in sharing the good news of Christ and sharing the transformative power of the gospel. To “partner” means we need each other. It means that it’s not just one person or one committee doing it all. We are all sharing in the gospel ministry and living out of God’s call on our lives.
One way you all partnered in the “ministry of the gospel” this past week was your generosity in giving towards our Benevolence Fund. Our 5th Sunday Offering went towards this fund and we received $366.50. This fund helps those that need assistance both within the meeting and those outside the meeting. It has been used to help pay utility bills, medical bills, rent and even groceries. It has provided relief when someone has been under immense anxiety. It has provided a way through when someone has felt under financial pressure. It has been a glimmer of hope in someone’s hopelessness. Thanks for your generosity in helping our Benevolence Fund offer meaningful ministry.
For the month of March, you also have “partnered in the ministry of the gospel” through your generous giving. For March, our Sunday offerings totaled $15,403.43. We thank you so much for your generosity as we know that the economy still finds itself a little wobbly. Deep River Friends operates with a very “bare bones” budget with most of our monies being spent on staff salaries and operational expenses (ie, utilities, upkeep of property) Our program costs are often very low and many folks donate out of their own resources to underwrite program. For all this we are extremely grateful. An important question organizations often need to ask is “What business are we in?” Now, I know a church isn’t a business but it does involve both financial and human resources and so we want to be good stewards. Thus, we need to be clear about the business we are in. I always like to say that we are in the transformation business…transforming people lives through the love of God. With that said, all our resources move toward that end. As you give…and as you think about giving…know that all you give goes toward helping us be partners in the ministry of the gospel of transforming people’s lives through the love of God.
One final note…this week our meeting room is getting a mini-makeover. By this Sunday, there will be new carpet down the center aisle. The carpet between the front pews and the pulpit area will have been removed and we will get to see the wooden floor…cleaned up and waxed…but the original wooden floor. The modesty panels around the choir and organ area will have been removed. This will open that are up quite a bit and create a more intimate space. Also, what has often been the front pew in the choir loft will now become the facing bench where I and the Elder of the Day will sit. The choir will relocate over to the corner closest to the door that leads to the ramp. This is all being funded out of our Building Fund which was established a few years ago through the generosity of a gift from the Neva McKinney estate. The meeting has not used an General Fund monies for this project. The goal is to create a more intimate and participatory space that is invitational.
Thank you, friends, for all your partnering and sharing of your lives. It might sound like a cliche but it truly does take all of us as we partner together in the ministry of the gospel.
In Partnership With You,