In Touch – July 6, 2012
Posted on July 6, 2012 by under Touché,

A Financial Odyssey

This past Sunday there were about 120 people at our Odyssey worship.  If you consider the average worship numbers of the 32 churches in the Classis of Mid-Hudson (our group of RCA churches), Odyssey would be the fifth largest church in our classis.  Five years ago, when we started our church planting journey, we could not have asked or imagined a gift such as Odyssey has become.  Common Ground, another of our new faith communities, does not hit the numbers of Odyssey, but it hits the hearts of those who are far away from the church and are cautiously exploring faith again.  These five years have been a miracle of God doing new things in our midst.

What we did plan on five years ago was that at this point in the journey we would have faith communities that financially supported themselves. That has not happened.  Odyssey is collecting coins for Gabriel House in Mexico and they are actually talking about a mission trip to visit that special needs home where Hilary Holbrook is a missionary, but besides the coins for Casa Gabriel, there is not much income available to worshippers at Odyssey.

Five years ago Hopewell was regularly hitting five to ten percent increases in giving year to year. As the economy has tanked, our giving has gone flat, which is good compared to many churches, but does not enable us to live up the challenges that are before us.  Our July Consistory meeting is our budget planning meeting for the 2012-2013 year, and I am worried.  With the gifts that God has given us, I believe it is time to take stock of our giving and put out the challenge to live into the vision that God has placed before us.  I make these two challenges:

  • Automate the Important: We recently introduced “Direct Debit” where you can direct your bank to send your giving directly to HRC’s bank.  This brings a consistency to giving that encourages our faithfulness at all times.  I give to the church through Bill Pay, which is a service available to most of us.  I would encourage you to contact Cyndy Warren at: hrcfinance@hrcrca.orgto set up “Direct Debit” or look into the Bill Pay services available to you to be consistent in your giving.
  • Step up to the Next Level:  I recently saw a print out in the levels of giving at HRC. They are as follows:

 5     Families or individuals give more than $20,000 a year

4     Families or individuals give between    $15,000 -$20,000 a year

4     Families or individuals give between    $10,000-$15,000 a year

17   Families or individuals give between    $ 5,000- $10,000 a year

123 Families or individuals give between    $ 1,000- $ 5,000 a year

162 Families or individuals give between    $     100- $ 1,000 a year

If we saw a twenty percent increase in the giving of the123 families or individuals who give between $1,000 to $5,000 a year, that would net out to a $58,301.15 increase of our giving.  That would align with an increase that would enable us to more completely live into the vision that we have been given.  A twenty percent increase in that category amounts to $200-$1,000 a year increase per family; a workable challenge for many.


I am excited by what God is doing.  I look forward to what God will do, and I want you to be a part of living into more than we can ask or imagine.


Yours in Faith,