In Touch September 23, 2011
Posted on September 23, 2011 by under Touché,

I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at last you have revived your concern for me; indeed, you were concerned for me, but had no opportunity to show it.  Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have.  I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.  (Philippians 4:10-13)

Through these “Forty Days of Joy” we are focused on Philippians.  At the end of the letter we see Paul’s joy comes through the partnership in the gospel with the Philippians.  They have sent him a gift to bless him and support the ministry of this church planter in prison.  It is a joy for him to see God’s provision. It is a joy for me to see God’s provision here at Hopewell through your faithful partnership in the gospel.  Thank you! 

It is especially significant to share that joy with you as our consistory has decided to change the way we track our giving and our budget.  Starting this October, we will shift to a fiscal year instead of a calendar year.  Why would we do this, you may ask?  Well, as business-minded deacons have done the accounting and planning of our budget they recognized that we receive one fourth of our income in the last month of the year, December.  That means that we run in the red for much of the year, and we plan on making up the ground in December.  We always have done this, but we felt that there is a better way to be stewards and plan budgets.


The good news for us, as we make this shift, is that we are in very good shape as we come to the end of September, even without including December giving this year.  We need an offering this Sunday of around $13,000 to be able to close our books on this uniquely short year (January-September) in the black.  $13,000 is not an unusually large weekend giving total.   I rejoice that we are in this position in an economy that is sour and with all the financial challenges we face.  We will start October with a new budget and a strong position as we move toward 2012.  We will have a congregational meeting in early November that will share how we closed the fiscal year and look at the budget for 2011-2012.


Make my joy complete (as Paul says) by giving this week in a way that closes our year well.  I invite you to give as you faithfully do, but perhaps add a “Gift of Joy” this weekend.   As Paul also says: And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.  (Philippians 4:19, 20)


Yours in Joy,