Pearce is in the midst of a “Winter Challenge,” a series of challenges to make ourselves more aware of God’s presence in the everyday. This past weekend, I extended the challenge to “learn to be grateful for imperfect people and imperfect circumstances.” So, how’s it going?
Following Sunday’s services, Janise Beguhl sent me an email informing me as to how she tracks her notes of gratitude. Janise found an app called “Gratitude Journal 365” which is simply a way to record notes of gratitude on one’s smart phone. “In the last few weeks I have tried to get back to a practice I did years ago–every day write down at least three things I am thankful for.” Searching the app store on my iPhone, I discovered several apps available for documenting your thankful moments.
Spring Arbor University’s Chamber Choir will present an evening of choral music at Pearce on Tuesday, March 12, at 7:00 pm As many of you know, Spring Arbor is a sister college to Roberts. When they called us to inquire about holding a concert at Pearce, I replied “Yes!” After all, our congregation has a deep appreciation for good choral music. So I hope you’ll plan on coming out on a Tuesday night to enjoy a great evening of song. The program for the concert is entitled, “The Promised Land,” and will feature music about heaven. Various styles of music (including classical, traditional church anthems, spirituals, hymn arrangements, and contemporary) will be featured.
By the way, Pearce will be hosting the 40 students in Spring Arbor’s Chamber Choir and providing overnight housing. If you would be willing to host two or more of the students in your home, please contact Kim Brittin in the office by calling 594-9488 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact Tim Lambert, worship arts director at Pearce for more details.
Have you considered the invitation to participate in stewardship with a little SWAG? SWAG stands for “Stewardship with a Goal” and offers a way for you to grow in your generosity to our church and its ministry. SWAG is a list of projects and debt reduction payments totaling $200,000. These items were not included in the operational budget of Pearce for this year, as the result of our church’s efforts to increase our budget by only a modest two percent.
However, we feel deeply about tackling some items that need attention, such as the abatement of asbestos in our boiler room. This is the first project on our SWAG list and the abatement is estimated to cost $25,000. Someone recently asked me why we would place an asbestos removal project on our SWAG list. After all, removing asbestos isn’t the most exciting of projects, is it?
The reason is that part of our existing boiler system is 60 years old. Before long, our old boilers will need replacement. If one of the old boilers should fail, installing a new system would be quite expensive, due to the asbestos in the boiler room. We’d like to remove the asbestos now, before an emergency occurs that would significantly drive costs higher. Dealing with this in 2013 will make it much easier and cost efficient to replace a boiler when that time comes.
I hope you’ll be a part of SWAG. Mary and I have prayerfully made our commitment to give to this stewardship emphasis; I hope you’ll do the same. To contribute, simply mark “SWAG” on your check’s memo line or on your offering envelope.
Speaking of Stewardship with a Goal, perhaps this is a good moment to offer some resources to help you in your understanding and practice of stewardship. Here are a few tools you may find helpful!
Thought-provoking Articles from Websites:
- Christian Giving: Some Essential Principles www.oneplace.com/ministries/alliance-of-confessing-evangelicals/read/articles/christian-giving-some-biblical-principles-13388.html
- Who Should We Help? www.crown.org/library/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=596
- Share the Joy www.generousgiving.org/share_your_story.
- Steps to Making a Budget www.crown.org/Library/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleId=751
Two Devotional Books:
- 40 Day Spiritual Journey to a More Generous Life and 7 Keys to Open-Handed Living in a Tight-Fisted World, both are by Brian Kluth and available in the Pearce library.
- A Woman’s Guide to Financial Peace of Mind, by Ron and Judy Blue. Available in the Pearce Library
- Graceful Living: Your Faith, Values, and Money in Changing Times, by Laura Dunham
- Stop Digging: A Spiritual Guide to Financial Freedom and Sound Stewardship, by Cliff Goins. Available from the Rochester Public Library and Greece Public Library
- The Challenge of the Disciplined Life: Christian Reflections on Money, Sex, and Power, by Richard Foster. Available from the Central Branch of RPL system
- Taming the Money Monster, by Ron Blue