First Presbyterian Church of Hokendauqua

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January/February 2012

A Stewardship Reminder

After all the glow of Christmas has faded, now that ornaments are packed safely away and the bills for our Christmas spending are coming due, please remember that our church needs your financial support, through regular and mission giving. Giving has wonderful long-term spiritual benefits. If you are able to increase your offerings to the church this year, you may discover important --even joyous-- things about yourself. You may find that, through disciplined giving, God will also make you a disciplined spender, and that you will have more, materially and spiritually, than you thought possible. The Lord truly blesses a cheerful giver. Those things that you really thought you wanted will become not as important to you, yet you will be filled with joy and contentment. You may find that you need fewer gadgets, fewer restaurant meals, and fewer pairs of shoes than you thought you did. You may begin to see yourself as something other than part of a failing economic system over which you have no control. And, best of all, you may sense deep satisfaction in being a committed disciple and sharing the costs of the work of Christ.

The First Presbyterian Church of Hokendauqua had a twelve thousand dollar budget deficit in 2011. If we experience similar deficits, for the next two years, our congregation may have to disband, and our church building may be closed down. Our church budget is a lean one. We make every effort to keep expenditures down. And yet, we find that the rising cost of energy, building maintenance, and other operating costs have increased significantly, while giving has plateaued. Younger members of our congregation are moving away. Older members, who have been among our strongest givers in the past, can no longer attend regularly.

Your giving pays the pastor’s salary and benefits, as well as the salaries of our employees. You keep the lights on and the heat and the air conditioner going. You buy the paper, and pay for the copier that we use for the worship bulletins. You pay our phone bills and cover the internet connection in the church office that helps us to communicate with you. You helped to repair the roof of our Sunday School building this year. You provide for programs, prayer and study, for Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, adult Bible study, and our two choirs. You support our ministries for mission and the PC(USA)’s ministries of relief and justice.

Session Members and other church leaders increased their commitments in 2011, and many of us plan to do so in 2012. Some of you are in personal situations that do not allow you to offer an increase in your financial contributions. That is understandable in this economic climate. Others are in a position to give more. If you are unable to increase your financial commitment please consider giving the church more of your time and talents, which the Lord has provided to you for His purposes on this earth. We give in response to God, who created us, re-creates us every day, encourages and comforts us, soothes our pain, and has sacrificed for us in Christ. Please prayerfully consider raising your financial commitment to our church in 2012 if you are able. And please consider committing more of your time and talents.

The Reverend Joyce Smothers, Pastor John Hrizuk,
Clerk of Session

Previous Pastor Point - November 2011
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3005 S. Front Street, Whitehall, PA 18052 | 610-264-9693 |
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