December 7,  2017
New Worshiping Community Spotlight
 by: Rev. Dr. John C. O'Keefe

PIVOT is a new Worshiping Community forming in Lincoln, and willingly connecting with the Homestead Presbytery, The Synod of Lakes and Prairies of the Presbyterian Church [USA] and in turn, the wider PCUSA.
Let's start by saying, PIVOT is not about starting another church in Lincoln. Let's be honest, there are plenty of church in Lincoln. At PIVOT, we're building on the PC(USA) tradition that is alive and well in Homestead Presbytery of being an honest, open, transparent, true, interactive, missional, connective community where we build lasting relationships with people seeking to explore the truths of the Divine found through Jesus. Our desire is to be a Community in Action: seeking to be in fellowship with our City. Our prayer is that we reach those other churches can't.
At PIVOT, we believe people are looking for a community where they will be loved for who they are, and not what others expect from them. People are looking to participated in a community where they can experience joy, the grace of being wanted, where they are embrace, love, lifted, nurtured, and welcomed with loving arms. We believe people are looking for a place where they can share in a desire to reach past themselves and welcome people who are searching, doubting, questioning, and hurt by other churches.
There are several ways you can help PIVOT reach out to our City.
PRAY: we can always use prayer. Pray for our vision, our dreams, our leadership, and the community we're called to serve.
GIVE: write a check to Homestead to support New Worshiping Communities forming in our area. Not just PIVOT, but all New Worshiping Communities.
JOIN: we're not asking you to leave your current church; we would be hurt if you did. We all know someone who doesn't attend church because it's irrelevant to them. Let them know about PIVOT.
SHARE: let those around you know of our needs: currently, we're looking for musicians [depending on what you have on your play list], people to help with our children [we have a ton of little kiddos] and others to help us reach out to help those in our community.
To know more about PIVOT:

Explore Good Reads 
What Causes Membership Growth in Small Churches?
by Ron Crandall
Professor Emeritus, Asbury Theological Seminary, and Executive Director, SCLI/ABIDE.

It might be helpful to see what turnaround pastors answer when asked, "What has contributed most to the growth of this congregation? Their top 20 answers ranked by frequency of occurrence are: 
  1. An atmosphere of love and acceptance.
  2. Pastoral initiative
  3. New programs and outreach ministries
  4. Alive, open, inviting worship
  5. An attitude of faith and grace
  6. A strong Bible focus
  7. An emphasis on children and youth 
  8. Hard work and a desire to grow
  9. Inviting friends to church
  10. An evangelism emphasis
  11. Prayer
  12. Emphasis on gifts and discipleship
  13. Lay persons involved in visitation
  14. Lay persons involved in ministry
  15. The blessing of God's Holy Spirit
  16. The church location and a growing community
  17. Special outreach and evangelistic events
  18. Using a strategic planning process
  19. Using new people in worship
  20. A pastor willing to stay

Giving is Good for Us!
Research  conducted on adults with high blood pressure, where one group was given money and asked to spend it on themselves, and the other was given money and asked to give it away, revealed the group that gave money away lowered their blood pressure and reported a greater sense of well-being. A  study conducted with toddlers showed they preferred sharing their Goldfish (the currency of toddlers) with a puppet rather than eating the Goldfish.

God created us to be generous, and we thrive when we live into being the people God created us to be.

This knowledge will come as no surprise to those faithful Presbyterians who have made stewardship and generosity a regular discipline in their lives, and they often respond positively to the invitation to continue to participate in the mission and ministry of their church with a planned gift, a continuation of faithful support of your church.

A planned gift involves planning today to make a gift tomorrow, typically at our death. This type of giving usually results in a current and/or future tax benefit. A few examples are:

A Life Estate - e.g., The gift of a home, with the donor retaining the use of it during his lifetime and his church receiving it at his death, resulting in a current tax deduction.
A Life Insurance Policy - The gift of a paid-up policy, naming the church as beneficiary, resulting in a current tax deduction equal to the current cash value.
A Charitable Remainder Trust - The gift of appreciated stock or other property to a trust held at the Presbyterian Foundation, resulting in a current tax deduction and a lifetime income stream to the donor, with the remainder of the trust being paid to the church when the donor dies.
Of course, the most common type of planned gift is a bequest under a will. Bequests can be endowed or outright, restricted or unrestricted, and result in a deduction for the estate of the donor when he/she dies. 

The Presbytery has a resource to help anyone to become intentional givers. Contact Andrew Loudin. at (,) 
who will be glad to arrange to come to your church to explain option and processes to your members. 
Keep Thinking...
"Of course I talk to myself. Sometimes I need expert advice."
Blessing Opportunity     ~ 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

Through the generosity of donors like you, we've been able to help more than 1.3 million children reach their potential and lead more fulfilling lives, regardless of the families' ability to pay.  Support the ongoing life-changing care of children. 

Donate through your Congregation, The Homestead Presbytery Office or 
online Here.
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