As I reflect on the past several weeks, I am reminded of the gatherings around the Church that have celebrated the sacrificial service and leadership that so many of you have given to the Church in this past year. There has never been a time in the short history of our Church when so many have served others — both in our Church family and outside our Church family. Again, I say thank you.
This past year has been marked by extraordinary change and challenge at St. Peter’s. We have moved into a new building that has served the ministries of the Church beyond our hopes and dreams. Our three buildings (the office, the shed and our multipurpose building) are consistently used six days a week by our Church family, the community, and East Cooper Christian Pre-School (123 students). Lord, thank you for our physical plant and the resource that it is for serving you and others.
Our Church family is also going through a season of natural and healthy growth and change. We now have three times the number of children and twice the number of adults on Sunday morning than we had just six months ago. We are taking very focused steps in encouraging all ages of our Church family to grow in their knowledge of, and relationship with, Jesus through: Life Groups, Bible studies, teaching series, personal Bible study and new mission opportunities to serve others. Lord, transform our lives so that we will delight in you and serve others in your name.
All of the above, especially the bringing on of a new building, have also stretched our Church family financially. When it comes to the expanding ministry and mission of our Church (the Body of Christ), money is the muscle that helps support and sustain our Body. Right now, as we go through this time of natural growth and development, our financial muscle also needs to be strengthened and expanded.
If you have been tracking our congregational giving in the monthly reports, you have seen that we have consistently had a shortfall month over month this past year. The Stewards and I have been willing to step out in faith believing that, as new folks become a part of our Church family (as they are), in time they, too, will join in the financial support and encouragement of the Church. By this Easter (April), we will know what level of increased giving has taken place and then we will take whatever steps will be necessary to bring into balance our financial income and our out flow.
I am, therefore, asking you to prayerfully and thoughtfully consider your giving to our Church. We are in need of your financial support. This need is real and immediate, and it is being driven by the incredible opportunity to serve others in our expanding mission to our Community. I am encouraged by all that is happening in our Church and I am confident that the Lord, who has begun this good work, will also release through you the money and muscle to sustain it.