Happy Hump Day, Martin Family!
I hope this finds you staying reasonably cool in this sweltering August weather. Although the sound of thunder rumbling and the smell of rain in the early morning hours was certainly a welcome reprieve from the recent norm!
Transparency is always the best way to live together in any community, and there are some things you should be aware of. Don't worry, it's all good! However, August and September are always a challenge in the cycle of church life, and I want to visit with you a minute specifically about the next eight weeks or so.
When we committed to put our focus on retiring the mortgage through the Faithful to the Body of Christ Campaign between December 2017 and April 2018, we knew that there would be an impact on budget giving for 2018. That proved to be true, but not to the degree we feared it might. In fact, we were able to finish the year in December 2018 completely debt-free (hip, hip, hooray!) and meet all other obligations. The only deficit was in repaying ourselves the full balance of the contingency fund from which we draw from each summer when heat, travel and other activities inevitably impact the attendance and giving in all churches. The contingency fund is our own savings account that covers cash flow during the seasons of life when receipts and expenses aren't equal.
Had we fully repaid our contingency fund what we used during the summer of 2018 we would not have to be watching the cash flow as closely as we are right now, and we would be on track to get to the annual infusion that comes every fall with more regular worship attendance and Lord's Acre.
Additionally, the death of the air conditioner that cools the upstairs space of the old sanctuary for our rapidly growing youth program and a $1100 repair on a second unit in the Vastine Building isn't helping any. But it's all good! We need the cools spaces because the programs and ministries of the church continue to multiply and thrive; new people are joining our faith family almost weekly right now, and the Spirit is alive and well at Martin! There is nothing to complain about and the sky, most assuredly, is NOT falling!
However, I want to ask you to help your church family get over this hurdle of recovering from a successful and much needed debt-retirement effort. Let us fluff our contingency fund over the next eight weeks. Yes, I'm talking about replacing about $25,000 we fell short, but it really wouldn't take much effort if we all work together. You know that dynamic of going to Walmart or Costco and putting several low dollar items in your cart and then getting to the check out and being surprised at how much the total is? Well, it works that way in collective giving toward a goal also! It doesn't take much to make a great impact. In addition to making sure your regular giving is up to date or reevaluating if you have not committed to giving regularly, could you do any or all of the following:

  • Forgo a night out and use that dinner and movie money to make an extra contribution (that'd be at least a $100 right there!)
  • Make your own coffee or bring your cold drinks from home and commit to not buying them out (even at only $4 a day that would be $228 over eight weeks you could add to your giving right today).
  • Evaluate the dynamics of your own life and see where you might find the means to be part of making a difference.

The thing is, we already have everything we need to be faithful in this renewed season of growth and effectiveness in fulfilling our purpose. We are called to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, and we are being used by God's Holy Spirit to do just that! We've been given the gifts of financial resource to be stewards of their use. And we see God at work in ways that are amazing! The rapidly deteriorating parking lot is about to be repaired due to the generous designated gift of a family, and the damage done to the Vastine Building will soon be repaired with the insurance proceeds now that the investigation in to the cause of the flood has been completed. It's all good!!
But it would be even better if Chris doesn't have to use valuable time robbing Peter to pay Paul over the next eight weeks and if I wasn't distracted from the important work of ministry talking with Garry everyday as we watch every penny of the bottom line. Brothers and sisters, where we choose spend our dollars speaks volumes about the priorities of our lives. Our church is so high on the list of priorities for the people of Martin. Let's be intentional about honoring that priority and covenant together to unite our efforts to cover the gap in our contingency fund! There is too much good going on to let little things distract us!

I hope to see you at the Ice Cream Social tonight! We are going to have a rockin' good time beating the heat!

I feel blessed and proud to be the pastor of such an amazing congregation, and I love you all dearly!

Peace and grace,
Pastor Lara
aka "The Vicar"
Prayer Concerns

Christian love and sympathy is extended to:

Carol Crosser and family on the death of her sister, Linda Wright.
James Patterson and the Schewee family on the death of Bill Schewee

Ron Kocher in the death of his beloved wife, Judy Warrior, on August 12. Services in celebration of Judy's life will be held in her childhood home of Wichita, KS.

Martin Community:  Chuck Allen, Samantha Bradley, Cyndee Cashman, Glen Dow, Debra Faletau, David Fyfe, Dave Galloway, George Hawkinson, Alilia Konkaika, Kyle Kunz, Tomasi Latu, Sandra Montignani, Susan McCumber, Tevita Mose, Melissa Norton, Carole Ruck, Phyllis Shepherd, Britney Weaver, Mandy Wentz, Diane Youngblood, Catherine Yoro
Family & Friends: Bobby Arnold, Michael Barnhart, Jack Bickhard, Twila Boyd, Gwen Caylor, Gina Chalk, Luna Clark, Jan Connell, Jimmie Cooper, Sam Darwin, Dennis DuBose, Patty Fincher & family, Christina Flores, Chris Gomez, Barbara Gordon, Susan Henry, Pat Hern, Edgar Hough III, Eric & Gary Huff, Katherine Lee, Chris Maruschak, Michael Muldoon, Mark Pence, Bob Penick, Roxanne Ramey, Roy Sills, David Sinclair, Beverly Sonneborn, Bill & Dorothy Standley, Lee Swann, Christy Young