I like January and the excitement of the New Year. I like looking forward to a new day, a new year, a new chance. It’s the gift of a new start and contemplation of new opportunities.
But it’s also a time to look back and take stock. What have we learned? How can we do better and do more? As I take a look forward and back, I’m excited and challenged. Here are a few highlights from 2014 and a look ahead to 2015.
Calvary Moravian in Winston-Salem followed up an exciting “Let us Adore Him” stewardship emphasis in 2013 with “Commit – Learn, Serve, Grow”, their 2014 emphasis. In 2015, they begin our GiftLegacy planned giving program to encourage members to include the church in their estate plans. Raleigh, Palmer, Home, Central, and Clemmons are some of the other Moravian congregations who are promoting GiftLegacy within their churches.
New Beginnings Moravian in Huntersville, NC, has begun a major renovation and expansion program; in fact, earlier this week their Facebook page was filled with construction photos. This small and energetic congregation moved forward with the renovation plan after a very positive feasibility study. “Resources Flow to Ministry” is prominently displayed on a bulletin board in the Fellowship Hall; with all the construction going on, I’m sure Pastor Chris has had to change the board’s location, but you can be assured the focus on ministry will not change.
For the second year, we have assisted Laurel Ridge with the Friends Forever Annual Fund. Providing brochure design, printing, mailing, and gift acknowledgment is a fee-for- service arrangement between the Foundation and Laurel Ridge that helps raise needed funds for those expenses not covered by the operating budget. We're pleased that as of January 21, Friends was just $200 away from their goal of $50,000!
“Grace, Generosity and Gratitude” was everywhere you looked at Kernersville Moravian Church in Kernersville, NC: signs were posted on the walls and doors, stickers were on coats and jackets, and there were even decals on cars. For several weeks in the fall of 2014, Kernersville Sunday School classes considered these words and the many scripture verses that refer to how we offer our gifts of time and treasure in response to God’s abundant grace. Our work continues at Kernersville as we consider how to take what we learned and use it to God’s glory in 2015.
Next week we begin work with King Moravian – helping them plan for the future. What an honor to have them as repeat customers. In 2007 we were delighted to assist them with planning a capital campaign for their beautiful new pipe organ. Then, in 2009, we helped with a stewardship emphasis centered on “Share the Blessings”, their very important community outreach mission program. In 2015 King members are once again looking to the future and seeing opportunities for growth and ministry expansion.
Year-round stewardship is about to begin at Clemmons Moravian in Clemmons, NC. Together we will explore ways to keep grace, gratitude and generosity at the forefront of congregational life in 2015. Our discussion group model will help them take a “snap shot” of current ministries and dream about what new challenges are on the horizon for 2015 and beyond.
It’s a busy time here and we’re excited to begin a new year with renewed energy for our work and our charge to help our churches talk honestly about money and ministry.