From Pastor Dave Dockweiler
To the Family of Faith at St. Andrew’s,
I hope this finds you well during this wonderful summertime. It sure seems like the summer goes faster here than in Michigan! God is good, all the time. Sometimes I have to remind myself of this when the troubles and headaches of life get in my head. God calls us to be the church, and faithfully provides all that is needed to do so.
I write to you today to bring attention to three important topics for our congregation.
- Discuss how our Memorial Fund has been depleted over the past few years because of projects and operational fund shortages; and how we have already taken steps to control how these funds are used in the future.
- Our plan for future spending and an incredible opportunity to replenish our Fund by making a dollar for dollar matched contribution.
- Propose that you include a contribution to a new Capital Fund be part of your Wills upon your passing.
First, here at St Andrews we are blessed to have functioned for a number of years with no financial debt. Our property is paid for and the mortgage burned, the offerings you place in the plate pay for ministry expenses, staff salaries, maintenance of buildings and our congregational offering to the greater church. Thank you for being diligent in your giving! Over the years, the costs we have incurred to maintain our infrastructure has been much greater than expected. Although we’ve had three separate capital campaigns and received two grants from our Synod to cover certain of these expenditures, we’ve still needed to use a significant amount of our Memorial fund. As a result, our Memorial fund has been reduced by half in the last seven years. The council and congregation have wisely taken several steps to stem these losses and safeguard this important financial safety net. The first (which is done) established guidelines on usage of the Memorial fund and the new Capital Improvement fund. I pledge to lead the council and congregation in following these guidelines put forth in our “Capital Preservation Policy” which we enacted at our last congregational meeting. This will stop the out flow of the Memorial fund.
Second, to our amazement, an anonymous congregation member has offered to match dollar-for-dollar, gifts given to our Capital Improvement Fund in the next calendar year up to $20,000. We have the opportunity to turn $20,000 into $40,000. This is a miracle and a blessing. Join me in giving thanks to God for this promised gift. As we see in scripture, Jesus invites those near him into the work of his miracles. So now the time is ours to give. Sarah and I have been praying about and reviewing our finances to make our offering, and I am asking you to do the same. I am hoping you will join us in this work with an initial donation of over $500. If that is out of your range, I ask you to give any initial amount you can, followed by sustained additions during the next year.
Third, boldly and additionally, I ask that you consider the church in your Will. Estate planning gifts are a wonderful way to ensure that the legacy you have helped to build at St. Andrew’s continues and thrives after you have passed. To accomplish this gift through your Estate, please contact me for the documentation necessary. The addition to your Will is very simple.
Our church is alive and well and these opportunities will make sure it stays that way for years to come. Thank you for your past giving, thank you for your regular giving and thank you for joining us in these exciting efforts to insure our future.
See you on Sunday,