I am so thankful to be your pastor! It is hard for me to believe that we have nearly finished up the first quarter of 2019. And yet spring is beginning to appear, not only in our natural surroundings, but in the life of our church family. Several ministries have just begun a new season: The Alpha course, A New Members Class, a Sunday morning Adult Sunday School on prayer and A new Wednesday evening study of the lives of the Apostles. However, today I want to celebrate the several things that happened among us in 2018. There are so many ways that I am thankful - today I will name three. First, our Commitment to the mission of Jesus. From a numerical perspective, last year we gave away 14.6% of our budget to mission in the amount of $140,819. This is well above the budgeted 10% and represents the immense generosity of this church family! That number does not include money that was given through direct benevolence. The Benevolence team of the Deacons gave an additional $14,319 in direct benevolence. This team helps in many ways such as providing rent assistance, paying heating bills and meeting other acute financial needs. Not only does the team provide financial help, but these Deacons get to know the individuals that are needing help and pray with them and for them. Even more exciting is the ministry done by the hands and feet of the congregation. We have dozens of ministries involving hundreds of people throughout the year. Some of our ministries are seen by many members, for example: worship leaders, ushers, and musicians who help lead us in worship. One less visible example which I will highlight is with Frederick Douglass Christian School in Chester. We have church members who teach and regularly volunteer at the school. I would like to focus on an even more specific event when the playground equipment at the school was flattened by a tree that fell. In order to address the immediate problem, we wrote a check to a tree company came and removed the fallen tree. Our Senior craftsman ministry is currently building new playground equipment. The supplies that they are using have been purchased with funds that were raised by the alternative gifts program that many members participated in during the Christmas season. There are many other ministries going on that have .
I am so blessed to be pastor of such a generous church family! Finally, the elimination of last year’s deficit In December, I mailed you a letter explaining that we were facing a year-end deficit. In just over two weeks we eliminated the deficit and we created a small surplus of several hundred dollars! Many members and friends of the church caught up on our commitments. Twenty eight families gave over $58,000, above and beyond their pledges and regular giving to eliminate the deficit. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus! Warmly in Christ, Jonathan Fettig