Honored to Wear the Shirt
This morning as I arrived at Pearce, I was greeted in the atrium by our stellar quiz team. They presented me with a t-shirt they designed to celebrate their study this year in GEPCP. Do you know what GEPCP is? I didn’t! It is an acronym for the books they have been studying this year: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon.
Isn’t this a wonderful group of young people? I hope you are proud of them and their diligence in learning the Word of God!
The national tournament for Free Methodist quiz teams from around the country, hosted by Roberts and Pearce, ends tomorrow (Friday). Keep all the quizzers in your prayers as they compete!
Blankets of Prayer
Corrie Ten Boom, that marvelous woman of faith whose life story has been an inspiration to so many, once asked, “Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” This summer at Pearce, we want to allow prayer to be our steering wheel, helping to set the direction of our community of faith. To that end, we’ve set aside three special evenings of prayer, the second of which will be held Wednesday, July 19, at 7pm.
Bring along your blanket or camp chair and join us on the “green space” on the west side of Orchard Street for this hour of song and prayer. Following our time of prayer, we’ll hang out around campfires to enjoy some s’mores and savor the goodness of our Lord and the company of each other. All ages are invited to be a part of this special evening. (In the unlikely event of rain, we’ll meet in Parmerter sans the campfires!)
I recently asked our treasurer, Mike Vannest, to give me an update on Pearce’s finances at this midpoint in the year. Here’s what he wrote:
We have 53 Sundays this year, so this report is not quite summarizing the halfway point. (I’m writing this on July 7 after 26 weeks. This report does not include this past weekend’s contributions.)
I will tell you that we are pretty on track with the past several years. One interesting thing is that specifically Operational Contributions are higher than any of the last 9 years I have tracked. I don’t know if that’s just a reflection of people not giving as much to “Building” and not having “SWAG” early in the year or not. In any case, it’s not a bad thing.
As for Building Contributions, we’re slightly ahead of last year and pretty in line with the past several years. (We have some faithful givers!)
I would say missions giving is exactly on track as well.
I don’t have major concerns. However, we need to be aware that our budget for contributions is higher this year and will be higher next year due to the loss of rental income on the classrooms.
Our administrator, Honna Curtis, added to Mike’s comments:
We are below year-to-date budgeted giving in all three categories. With RWC rent no longer an income stream, we do need to keep in mind that the next year’s budgeted giving will likely need to be even higher if we plan to maintain our existing staff, ministry-funding, and the ability to respond promptly to routine maintenance needs. How well we can meet the 2017 giving budgets will help to inform the Finance Committee and Official Board as they begin to prepare the budget for 2018.
I want to thank Mike, Honna, and the members of the Finance Committee for the wonderful and godly way they handle our church’s finances. Also, thanks to all of you who so generously support this ministry.
This week, two new books are available for modest donations on our church’s Pearce Reads bookshelves in the lobby. Both books are helpful companions to our upcoming summer series “Jesus Speaks to My Generation,” beginning the weekend of July 29 and 30.
This five-week series of messages will help us better understand the five generations of adults presently worshiping at Pearce: Silent Generation (born prior to 1946), the Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1980), Millennials (1981-2000), Centennials or Generation Z (born 2001 and later). (There is quite a variation among those who write on such matters as to the years for each generation. This is, obviously, far from an exact science!)
The first book is Haydn Shaw’s Generational IQ: Christianity Isn’t Dying, Millennials Aren’t the Problem and the Future is Bright. Shaw is an evangelical Christian who presently serves as a consultant with Franklin Covey and leads their Leading Across Generations workshops. Published in 2015, this book offers some practical assistance on understanding generational dynamics in the local church. One takeaway from this book is that generational intelligence doesn’t make the key teachings of Jesus to “love one another” easy, but it does make it easier. (This hardcover book is available for a donation of $18.)
James Emery White served as president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and was the founding pastor of Mecklenberg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. His latest book, Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World, provides an enlightening introduction to the generation just entering adulthood in our country. White explains who this generation is, how it came to be, and the impact it is likely to have on our nation and the Christian faith. (This paperback book, published in January of this year, is available for a donation of $10.)