Reflection November 11,2018
"Stewardship Letter" - Rev. Dr. Thomas Aldworth
We recently mailed the following letter to the members of our congregation. I am placing it in this week’s Advance in case there are people on our mailing list who might wish to share in our Estimate of Giving for 2019. Blessings and thanks to our very faithful and generous community of Faith.
Dear Friends and Members of Morgan Park American Baptist Church:
Jesus teaches us this truth in Matthew’s Gospel: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)
This is that time of year when we humbly come to you seeking your continued generosity to our beloved Morgan Park American Baptist Church. Our church has been so well served by so many for so long. We are the oldest church in Morgan Park, having begun in 1877.
Our friends and members continue to be very generous in supporting the many ministries of our church. The outreach our church extends into our community and our wounded world is truly impressive. This is an exciting time as we continue being led and guided by our most merciful and loving God. We are now happily live-streaming our Sunday services and our Bible Study (through Facebook). But this is also a time of great concern because of our on-going, unsettled financial situation and the small size of our beloved congregation. We are currently struggling mightily with serious building maintenance issues.
As most know, our annual budget depends primarily on two sources of income: 1) the generosity of our members and friends as expressed in our annual giving and 2) the funds we receive through sharing our space with “Just for Kids” and other organizations. But even with these significant sources of funding, we come up short and have to draw from our savings. This has been on-going for decades and is seriously disturbing to our church leadership. Our reserves have dwindled considerably over the years. Our Sunday offerings often fall far short of what we need each week.
Our church leaders keep watchful eyes on all our expenses. Church members and friends handle many of the maintenance projects that would seriously impact our budget without the gift of their time and talent. We are deeply grateful for all that is done by our members and friends!
Our stewardship department has cut our budget in every way possible. We are doing all we can to balance our budget but certain expenses remain constant every year and some expenses actually increase annually.
Of course, we trust in God’s providence. In light of that trust, we also rely on the continued and gracious generosity of those who comprise our congregation. And so we ask you to prayerfully consider your Estimate of Giving for the coming year. Your response to the enclosed Estimate of Giving card will allow our Stewardship Department to set the budget for 2019. Our budget depends upon these Estimate of Giving cards. (If you need an Estimate of Giving Card, please contact the church office at 773-445-9443 or email Pastor Thomas at DrAldworth@AOL.com).
These Estimate of Giving cards will be collected on Sunday, December 9, our Commitment Sunday. They can be turned in any time prior to December 9. Please allow God to guide your heart in discerning your response to this vital component of our shared church life. Thank you for your continued generosity! May God forever bless you and yours and our beloved community!
Morgan Park American Baptist Church Stewardship Department:
Chuck Oppenlander (chair), Floyd Hale, Judy Healy, Bruce Stark, Pastor Thomas Aldworth
Rev. Dr. Joel Mitchell, Interim Pastor
Rev. Millie Myren, Support Minister
11024 S. Bell Avenue
Chicago, IL 60643