Beloved in Christ,
Grace and peace to you in Jesus Christ; God is with us in him.
Over the past month I have written to you informing you of our finances at Apostles and opening opportunities for your year end giving, and thanks be to God, you are responding generously. I am happy to report that, as of today, we, the faithful people of God have given $655,488 this year, $73,384 of which has come in since the appeal went out on November 24. I had challenged us to bring in at least $80,000 by year’s end, and it looks as though we are on track to do that. I pray we will finish strong through this week and Sunday, 12/31/17, the last day of the year.
In addition, many of us are rounding out our year-end giving by faithfully keeping the pledge we made to our Destined For Joy campaign, which is effectively funding our upcoming building project on Lee Highway. By the grace of God, we hope to break ground in the first quarter of 2018, and all things are lining up so we can do so. As of this week, we have given a total of $2,032,225.01 to this campaign, and we have $530,617.44 outstanding in pledges that we hope will all be in by June of 2018. Thank you for your faithfulness. Of the over $2 million received so far, $197,640.24 was not pledged. Thank you for those who stepped up and have given generously! If you have not made a pledge, your gifts to this campaign are most welcome as they will be funding a city on a hill from which the light and joy of Jesus Christ will shine. To be on track, we should start the New Year with about $400,000. To do that, we need to take in about $130,000 before the end of 2017. Please pray if the Lord is asking you to make a gift toward this end. No amount is too big or too small. If you are one of those folks who has been sitting on the fence, or waiting to give until we actually break ground, I’d ask you to spend some prayerful time with the Lord in his Word.
Most importantly, please join the Vestry, Staff and Beth and me in continuing to pray. While our financial need is real; it will continue to take the Hand of God to propel us forward. I know, as Paul tells us: “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” - (1 Thes 5:24)
Let us take joy in knowing we serve our Lord who is faithful in all things. Let us remain rooted in Him, connected to Jesus as the branches of His vine, empowered forward by his Holy Spirit. In this Christmastide, as we experience the joy and peace of Emanuel, God’s greatest gift to each of us, I pray that “the God of peace himself sanctif[ies] you completely, that your whole spirit and soul and body will be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – (1 Thes. 5:23) And that you would take joy in knowing our heavenly Father finds you blameless by what our Savior Jesus has done for us. May all we do give him honor and glory, and be a blessing to the people he loves.
Let me hear from you if you have any questions; God be with you.
Your brother in Christ,