During the 8:30 service this past Sunday, Consecration Sunday, I noticed a man sitting by himself in a pew towards the back of the sanctuary. I didn’t recognize him, so I assumed he was visiting us for the first time. I made a mental note to seek him out after the service to greet him.
I always hope and often pray that God brings us visitors every Sunday. Though this Sunday, was not our usual worship experience. As a Church Family, we were dedicating our financial pledges for the coming year. It could have been a little awkward for the first-time guest.
While running back and forth from my study to the Choir Room for the Adult Forum, I ran into this man in front of the tiles across from the chapel. He asked if I recognized him. I didn’t. Apparently, I married him and his wife twenty years ago. As he recounted the details of his marriage and wife, their story came back to me. This couple appeared one day at the church wondering if they could get married here. The woman was Roman Catholic and because she was divorced she was not welcome to be married in her church. I told them then that I would be happy to help them.
I tied the knot and the knot has held beautifully for two decades. They have two teenagers and they are still happy and in love with each other. Like a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a hunk of apple pie, the man shared more good news: he and his wife are deeply involved in a strong church in our area. The couple and their children worship God each Sunday. This man is deeply and meaningfully involved and their lives are different and blessed.
I thanked my long-lost friend for the report for it came on the perfect day. His story is a major reason why Leslie and I are committed to giving to the work and mission of Thompson Memorial Presbyterian Church. In ways that no one fully knows or appreciates, God is working among us and through us. Thank you for your generosity and all I can say is: Keep on giving!
Here is the statistical report on Consecration Sunday, November 12, 2017
A total of 61 giving units (couples or a single person) completed Estimate of Giving cards this year. Those who weren’t able to attend this Sunday will have a chance to complete their cards this week.
A total of 46 of these givers increased their financial commitment above their last year’s amount.
A total of 61 givers present on Consecration Sunday committed a total of $296, 124.
Based on last year’s giving records, we can expect to receive $292.180 during the coming year from people who have consistent giving patterns during the past twelve months but were not present this past Sunday.
Based on the average of loose offerings (non-pledged gifts) during the past three years, we can expect to receive $181.230.
Church income from non-donor sources such as interest, rentals, and fees: $8,000.
This gives us a grand total of $773.534 anticipated income for the next twelve months.
The total income for our general operating budget during the last twelve months was $717, 568.
Next year, in 2018, we can expect our operating budget income to increase by $59, 966.
This is a 8.36% increase in total giving above last year.