Thinking About Hilarious Sunday

People I Love,

The obtuse nature of time means that we often need granularity in order to harness the moment.  Because we have a kid in college we have to think in terms of semesters and because we also have one in high school we have to think in terms of tests, homework and group projects.  When taken this way, life flies by in chunks and before you know it we are enduring and not really living, savoring or reclaiming time. To recover time we need to sometimes slow down and think of it in terms of days. For example, as of today is it forty days until Christmas, forty-six days until New Years which means it is only thirty-one days until our Hilarious Sunday offering.  When I think of time in those terms there are three things that rise in me.

First, the Big Picture.  We have made it known that our current building debt is $2.1 million dollars and we need to steward this before we can begin construction on the new sanctuary. To put the what and why into perspective you need to see the big picture as well which involves the total cost, as best we can know it at this time, of the new sanctuary.  The pre-construction bid we received is $6.6 million which at the time was said to be within ten to fifteen percent of the actual cost.  This number is a turnkey estimate which includes audio visual, seating and everything else. I say “as best we can know it" because we do not know how building costs will be affected by the recent hurricane nor can we control the interest rate.  If we started today that would be a total debt number of $8.7 million which is more than we want to take on.  Hence, our efforts to reduce the current and future debt as much as possible by having a day of intentional giving we call Hilarious Sunday.  I share the total number because I want us to see the Big Picture and the possibility of reducing that total number as much as possible with intentional, Spirit-led giving on December 16th. 

Second, Prioritization. I know that with the end of the year on the horizon you will be bombarded with year end giving appeals and I ask that you would consider prioritizing our Hilarious Sunday offering in your giving.  Notice that I said prioritization not punishment. Having the capacity and the opportunity to give is a gift from God so don’t turn it into a method of spiritual punishment. I don’t want you to have a scorched earth policy that says to your kids, “No you can’t order a Coke with dinner because we are saving for the new sanctuary!”  Enjoy your Christmas, take that vacation, have a Coke with dinner and then get dessert! Basically keep living your life.  Giving is from the heart, with joy and should never involve coercion, guilt or sweat so let's not let any of that thinking take root in us.  If we have to make major life changes in order to give then we need to look at what we prioritize year round. 

Third, Priesthood.  When most of us hear that word we think of an office or an individual but I want you to think of identity because this is who the Bible says you are.  Each of us has a priesthood and we should be regularly exercising that for the glory of God and the expansion of His Kingdom.  His Spirit lives inside of you so follow His leading as you pray and listen for the role you are to play in this opportunity.

Wondering out loud,

Neil

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