Pastor's Ponderings

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Pastor's Ponderings, January 16, 2017

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Financial Overview

The figures are in for 2016 and the church is in a strong financial position. Actual income for the 2016 was $722,650, that is $20,681 above the budgeted income set for the year. Our total expenses for the year were $712,402, well under the budgeted amount. We ended the year with all expenses paid and $37,443 on hand to start 2017. Thank you for all of you that have made the work of ministry possible this past year.

In December, the Church Council passed a budget for 2017 at $755,600, a 4% increase over the adopted budget figure for 2016. This breaks down as follows:

Staff compensation - 57.6%
Care of God’s House - 17.4%
Conference Benevolences (apportionment) -10.9%
Program Areas (evangelism, education, music, - 5.5%
family life, missions, youth)
Administration and Technology - 5.5%
Missions/Church and Society - 3.0%

More financial details, including a copy of the 2017 budget, are available upon request at the church office.

See you in church!
Pastor Steve

Posted by Rev. Dr. Steve Larsen with

Pastor's Ponderings January 9, 2017

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New Sermon Series Begins on Sunday

The recent campaign and election revealed that we are a deeply divided nation. Social media creates echo chambers where we listen to people we already agree with and we fail to engage in constructive ways with others. Our United States is becoming in many ways less united. And yet, Christ calls us clearly to love our neighbor and build bridges of compassion and understanding with those who are different. The series, entitled Can We Be Civil? starts on January 15 and runs through February. Here is a preview of the first two weeks:

Sunday, January 15    Martin Luther King, Jr Weekend  

Sermon title: Morality, Manners and the Etiquette of Democracy     1 John 3:11-20
Just prior to the inauguration of a new president that has a higher unfavorable rating than any modern president-elect, we will examine what civility looks like and how we might mend the many divisions among us.

Sunday, January 22

Sermon Title: You Have to be Carefully Taught                                  1 John 3:11-20
Civility is learned and acquired as it is modeled and taught in our families, our schools, and our religious communities. We learn to get along with each other in these three places. What can we be doing as a church to teach and promote civility in the wider community?

See you in church!

Pastor Steve

Posted by Rev. Dr. Steve Larsen with

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