Hope your Friday is a good one. I have four items to quickly highlight so hang with me ever so briefly.
First of all I’d like to make a very big ASK of you and prompt you to consider a generous end of year financial gift to our church. I know you are asked often to give to various nonprofits. Martha and I are as well. In America today, there are over 1.8 million nonprofit organizations, and over one million of these are 501(c)(3)s. Just ten years ago there were 600,000 501(c)(3)s. Each year finds the number of nonprofits in America growing by anywhere from 5 to 7 percent. I encourage you to be as generous as you can. But I ask you to not overlook your local church.
It’s the local church that week in and week out is the tangible Body of Christ in this world and our church continues to make such a consistent difference for Jesus in the six classic disciplines of balanced church ministry: worship; discipleship; evangelism; prayer; fellowship; & service. And these ministries touch a wide range of ages.
All of us together, doing our part, make a huge difference in fueling the ministry of Christ’s church. I realize that some of you are financially strapped or out of work – I don’t want you to feel any pressure whatsoever. In fact, our church is giving away in very purposeful ways a number of financial grace gifts at the end of the year.
And so, if you are able, all of us would appreciate your prayerful consideration about a year-end financial gift. Any gift, large or small, makes a big difference and especially so as we aim to make 2013 a year of increasing impact locally and globally. Jesus is the hope of the world but a healthy local church is the tangible expression of Christ’s balanced ministry. God is doing great things all around the world, including here in your own church family, and I consider it an honor to be a part of this congregation with you!
Second, remember that this Sunday, December 9, is our annual Care & Share Toy & Food Drive. We will receive your bags of goodies during our worship services. You are always so kind and the visual of all those bags on stages reminds us of the power of a church – when we all do our part then the collective impact is significant. Lots of Fort Bend County residents will be helped through your kindness. Don’t know what to bring? Check out our website for details.
Third, please note that Virgil Fry will lead our Service of Remembrance next Sunday, December 16 @ 4:00. This service, held in our chapel, has been so very well received over the years. It is a soothing and encouraging gathering designed to remember and honor our deceased loved ones during the holiday season – a time which brings an extra measure of emotional sensitivity. The service includes music, prayer, a reading of remembered names, and a candle-lighting in their honor. Following the service, there is a brief reception held just outside the Chapel. Virgil is also leading a Grief Recovery Support group each Sunday morning @ 9:45 through December 16.
And last of all, during the holidays we will have some schedule changes so please check our website and the Order of Worship for those holiday adjustments.
Thanks & Merry Christmas,