11024 S. Bell Avenue
Chicago, IL 60643
Reflection December 1, 2019
Estimate of Giving 2020
The following letter was sent to our friends and members recently. We felt it should also be included in our weekly newsletter.
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.
A major change in our church life is the recent sale of our buildings to Just For Kids. This sale was necessitated by the dire financial situation in which we found ourselves this past year. We had to deal with mandated tuck-pointing by the City of Chicago. This repair depleted what we had left in savings.
We either had to sale our buildings or lock the doors by the end of July. Thankfully, we were able to complete the sale in July. Now we have financial resources which, hopefully, will help us continue into the future God wishes for us.
We no longer have to pay $24,000 per year on liability insurance. We no longer have to pay $8,000 per month winter heating bills. We no longer have to worry about the upkeep of the buildings and grounds.
This does not mean, however, that we have no financial concerns. The costs for running a church continue, such as the salary of our pastor, our church office manager, our music minister. We also have insurance and other expenses, though at a significantly reduced level.
It’s our hope, however, that we’ll be able to focus increased attention on outreach and evangelization possibilities. Now that we no longer have to worry about building issues, we can attend to church issues. We seek the Spirit’s assistance in discerning how to be church without the worry and expense of buildings!
Our church leaders keep watchful eyes on all our expenses. We hope to have a balanced budget for the first time in many decades. But to do this, we will need the continued generous giving of our church members and friends.
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 2020. Our budget depends upon these Estimate of Giving cards.
These Estimate of Giving cards will be collected on Sunday, December 8, our Commitment Sunday. They can be turned in any time prior to December 8. 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, Pastor