Announcement Sunday

Good morning friends! Today is Announcement Sunday for the Renew Capital Campaign, and it’s my privilege to share with you the results of the dedicated work of our team. Before I get to that, let’s participate in an exercise I encourage other pastors to do when evaluating a particular ministry, such as a worship service, mission project, or in this case, a capital campaign.

“Where did God show up?”

  • This is important, because in the busy-ness of church leadership it can be very easy to become lost in the details or evaluation measures that don’t really take God’s activity into account. So where did I see God show up during the Renew campaign?
  • Nearly every day over the past month, I have heard of one or more promised gifts from the congregation. Some of these were unexpected, like the $2000 check we received just yesterday. God showed up in unexpected gifts.
  • In the video testimonies of Grace families, which were posted on Facebook and sent out over email. It was inspiring to hear how so many different families experienced the spiritual aspects of the campaign. God showed up in the heart-felt insights and creativity of Grace families.
  • In the little church-shaped gift boxes of our children. Combined, the children of Grace UMC contributed $28.38 to the campaign. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them.” God showed up in the gifts of our kids.
  • In my own faith. When we first started the campaign, Christy asked me what number I was thinking about. Turns out we both had the same idea. Over the course of several conversations, we decided to take a bigger leap of faith, doubling our original number! God showed up as our family stepped out in faith.
  • In the generous, sacrificial gifts of our membership. More than a few times I shouted for joy when we received a promise of giving from a family that is already a generous supporter of the congregation. God showed up in the faithfulness and commitment of Grace members.
  • In the giving of new families. God had blessed us with incredible new, enthusiastic people this year. Many of them participated in the campaign by making first-time gifts to the church. God showed up as new people saw the vision, and literally bought in!
  • That this campaign and vision existed in the first place. For most of our membership, this was their first capital campaign. As David Rylander shared recently, the last campaigns were 1990 and 1993. A new master plan and vision was discussed several years ago, but it did not come to fruition. More than 25 years since Grace participated in a capital campaign, God showed up, bringing exciting, new vision to the congregation. People were inspired.

 God has shown up in a mighty way, and we are still listening; so if you have not yet responded, please do so. To date, we have received financial commitments from sixty families, pledging a total of $617,980 over the next three years! As a bonus, we have already received a total of $43,063, even before January 1! God has shown up in powerful ways, and we are grateful!

All grace is amazing!!