Saturday, June 1, 2013

June 2013 Stewardship

The peace of the Lord be with you. He is Risen! Alleluia. What a wonderful “noise” to hear the voices of young and old ringing out in praise of Jesus Christ. As we closed the financial books for last year we pretty much broke even (this is good). But there were some months which were “nail-biters” in terms of being able to pay our bills. But God provides and the donations of some generous people brought us through. Analysis of income and expense showed that in November and surrounding months we had a large deficit. The Church Council has directed us to implement programs to proactively deal with this. The first order of business is a call to stewardship. The financial care of the church is everyone’s responsibility. Everything on Earth belongs to God [Ps 24]. All that we have is a gift from God [Ecc 5:19]. We are free from the law of tithe, but God has commanded us to continue to give to His work (not only that but to give cheerfully). [2Cor 9:6-8] 6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. Therefore I would like to encourage everyone to prayerfully consider their commitment to God’s work. As God has blessed you please consider the financial support of the ministries at Immanuel First. We support a thriving Vietnamese church plant as part of our mission to share the Word of God with the world. We have a wonderful sanctuary and fellowship hall in which we celebrate the word of God and share in fellowship with one another. God has blessed us greatly. In order to plan our budget better we are asking consideration for three things: 1. Yearly pledges - This will allow us to plan a budget for the year better. We will be having a stewardship Sunday where we are asking people to let us know their commitment. 2. Regular offerings - Sometimes we may forget our offerings especially when we leave on vacations, etc. (it happens!). Please try to keep a regular offering so our income doesn’t oscillate so much. 3. We are also asking for people to consider raising their offerings, as God has blessed you. The command to tithe (one’s offering to God, is one of the few commands which come with a promise of blessing. (Mal 3:10) “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Please do not give if it is a burden (other than a burden gladly borne for the glory of God.) God loves a cheerful giver. Thank you for your consideration. Our finance and stewardship board works hard to keep the ministry of God at Immanuel First going. Being able to stabilize our finances would be a tremendous help. God bless you, Pastor Okubo

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