God Blesses Us All Abundantly: Old First E-pistle 10.26.12

A reading from II Corinthians 9: 6-8:

Remember this: Whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

At Old First, it is a remarkable time in so many ways. New people are walking through our doors each week. In our Wellspring ministries, we are serving more and more people with each and every week, and we all look forward the shelter’s opening at the start of next month. The Sunday School rooms echo with laughter and the good teachings each Sunday AM. We see the results of our Revitalization in every corner of our church lives.

As the Treasurer of Old First, I get to see different results of Revitalization, some that are not always seen in usual church life. In the past few years, we have all been encouraged to give electronically, most using their online banking accounts to ensure that regular bill payments are made to the Church, even when not in attendance. This has smoothed over the pledged giving at Old First and has allowed for a consistent cash flow, even during the Summer months.

I feel that my work in the Administration and Finance of Old First is my calling and I feel blessed to be able to perform the duties of Treasurer. It is a sacred trust that I take very seriously.

Sunday mornings, after I am done in Choir, I head to the Church Office and I open the (locked) drawer where the week’s mailed offerings are stored. One might think I do this so that I can count the “take” and know what the bank balance might be after the service, but, no, I leave the actual giving figures to my partner in this finance ministry, Financial Secretary Gerry Woodroffe.

No, I get these checks (and cash) and tuck them away until the Offering in the service. I feel it very important that these offerings are blessed in the service at the same time as those who are giving with their weekly envelopes. God blesses us all abundantly, whether we give online, by mailed check, or in the service itself. So, I want to assure you all, all offerings to Old First come forward and are blessed during the service.

And, it is working…..did you know that the Church has not had any cash flow issues this year? Did you know that we have been able to leave our funds invested in the Endowments and only making withdrawals when absolutely necessary (instead of monthly withdrawals)? This has allowed us to receive returns on funds that typically were needed because of cash flow needs.

Did you know that we have been able to complete three major facilities repairs this Summer/Fall season. First the HVAC in the Fox Building was replaced with a more efficient, and financially responsible model. Then, we were able to make necessary repairs to the CE Building bathrooms and create a healthy, clean environment for our work camp guests. And, lastly, you cannot miss the large lift on the East side of our church building which is making long needed repairs to our chimney, soffit, and roof.

And more is, hopefully, to come! We have been able to fund these all with funds in our Operating Budget. We have not needed to borrow at all, not from a bank, not from the endowment, not from anyone.

This is only possible because of the faithful giving that we are blessed with at Old First. Through the first three quarters of 2012 (January – September 2012), we have received over $42,000 more in pledges and member envelopes than through the first three quarters of 2011. To me, this is an indicator that does not always gets talked about, but a healthy church is healthy in faith and one way that faith can shine through is via the faithful giving of our members. And giving the church a needed facelift (or “rooflift” as the case may be) will make us more stable and even, to some, more inviting.

So, thank you. Thank you for making me not have to worry (and anyone who has sat through a meeting with me knows that I usually worry!). Thank you for giving faithfully, regularly, cheerfully…..it means to much to the church, and it means a lot to me. So, again, thanks!

See you at Church!

Adam Sherr