As many of you know, we were recently awarded a grant by the Center for Congregations here in Indiana for $30,000 to meet needs in our community. This is a matching grant, which means we must provide an additional $30,000 in order to access it.
We owe a debt of gratitude to Nancy James and a team of people who met for over a year and worked with representatives from the Center to write the actual grant proposal.
This Sunday, December 17th, we will be taking an offering to help match this grant. If we have an offering of $30,000 or more, we will be able to match the grant completely, as the first $10,000 must be used to provide for the church's budget needs. Since we collected almost $10,000 toward this grant last Christmas, that leaves roughly $20,000 that still needs to be provided.
This grant will be primarily used to focus on launching a teen addiction ministry and to expand our adult addiction recovery programs. Most of us know someone who is struggling with addiction to either drugs or alcohol, and how devastating an addiction can be for entire families. We believe God is calling us to confront this epidemic and that He is promising to set captives free!
We will also establish an online resource center for physical needs in the community and provide phone and personal counseling for people in crisis. These counselors will receive training that is paid for by the grant.
I believe that only churches that meet real and tangible needs in our community will be around in the next 20 years. Churches that simply meet on weekends or even have groups through the week will be viewed as irrelevant and will slowly die.
So remember that, as we give on Sunday, we are taking an offering, not just for the future of our community, but also for the future of our church as well.
Would you please take a moment and pray, asking God to direct you toward great generosity in this offering? Remember, this is an offering that is sacrificial in nature, as it is to be given above our normal tithes and offerings. Our Jesus came to set captives free, and that includes people who are held captive by addictions and chained to their problems. As His people, the time for us to step out in faith is now, sowing seed for our God to multiply and use.
Our God is bigger than problems or addictions! Our community needs to see that God in us. I’m looking forward to our worship together on Sunday and to our partnership in making a real difference in our community for many years to come.
If you'd like to give online before Sunday, click here and select 2017 Christmas Offering from the available funds in the dropdown menu.