Rev. Dr. Scot Bontrager, Senior Pastor

Last Sunday in worship, Mark Buford, our Director of Communications, shared during the Call for the Offering that, “God loves a cheerful giver.” 

I wish I were always a cheerful giver.

I’m not (yet).

But I do give – sometimes with grumbles – because I value the mission and ministry of our congregation.

In the past several months, we have been publishing our financial status every week in the bulletin.

It is no secret that we are operating on a shoestring budget, and our staff works very hard to keep our costs low.

Like most households, one emergency or unexpected expense can cause chaos.

In my short time here we’ve had several emergencies: water leaking into the walls, flooded basements, broken elevator, failed fire inspections, and probably many things I’ve repressed.

This is the reality of having an aging building.

We have managed to meet our expenses each month, sometimes, without anything to spare.

If you are not currently contributing to the operating expenses of the church, I encourage you to make a pledge.

Every bit helps.

I know it seems trite to say, “the price of a cup of coffee each day …” but it is true, every bit helps. 

Beyond one-time gifts, what helps the most are recurring gifts.

I have set it up so that my gift is automatically charged to my credit card twice a month. This is what works best for me.

For others, weekly, monthly or quarterly gifts are better. 

Having pre-configured, automatic giving through direct draft or on a credit card helps us plan better. 

Recurring giving levels out the seasonal ups-and-downs that stress our Finance Committee. 

Our congregation has a tradition of giving to special designated funds, such as the Music Ministry or the Student Ministry.

In normal times this is wonderful, but designating your gifts to specific ministries restricts what the Finance Committee is able to do when things are exceptionally tight.

As important as youth and music are, we can’t have people in the building to sing and play without first paying our insurance and utilities.

My encouragement is that any designated gifts to special funds are made after you’ve given to the general operating budget. 

I appreciate any gift, no matter how small.

Our ministry in Garland is important. Your contribution to our shared ministry is important.

Thank you for your gifts and tithes! 

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