“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:34
As we enter the month of November we are also thrust into the season of stewardship and giving. I’m sure you each have begun to see requests for support from organizations for which you are involved. The Resource Team and the Church Council have been hard at work developing a proposed budget for 2018 while keeping the church’s greater mission as its focus. In a few days you will receive a letter from me and the Stewardship team. Included will be a pledge card and an explanation of the 2018 proposed budget. What that letter will explain and request is that you pray about the greater mission Christ has placed upon St. Luke Union Church, that the people we touch and the word that we share is because we have been called by God to build God’s kingdom. We would then ask that you consider where your heart may be, so you too may be a part of the greater blessing of God. Much has occurred at St. Luke Union in the past few years from: the hiring of a Christian Education Coordinator, the welcoming of an increased number of new members, mission trips and missional outreach, dynamic worship each Sunday morning, care for one another and of course the building addition, each ministry activity having a cost. In 2017 the pledge campaign was successful but there were also additional costs as a result of the new addition. In an effort to balance the budget, ministry teams cut expenditures, church staff were not afforded raises and our church secretary had her hours reduced. We did what we needed to do to stay within our means. In June of 2018 we are scheduled to conclude the primary capital campaign for the building project. Much thanks needs to go out to the people and always generous nature of St. Luke Union Church. We will exceed the $750,000 expected from pledges. Unfortunately, our building project has left us with a current 20 -year mortgage of $445,000 which presents us with a monthly mortgage of approximately $2,500. As you will see in the pledge request letter the increase in operating budget from 2017 to 2018 will be approximately $13,000 or slightly over 4% with primary increases coming from salary increases and building operating costs. This amount does not take into consideration the mortgage after June 1, 2018. In an effort to continually reduce our building mortgage so it will not effect the mission and ministry efforts of St. Luke Union Church, the church council has proposed that the capital campaign be extended until June of 2019. The church council feels that if we can reduce the principal amount, then in 2019 that payment can be added to the yearly operating budget and not affect the greater ministry. With this proposal the church council and myself are looking for additional feedback from those who call St. Luke Union Church home. Historically, this congregation has never held a mortgage for over 5 years, but I also under – stand that we have never held a mortgage this large. With this year’s stewardship scriptural note we find ourselves in the book of Luke and Jesus giving a little perspective on giving and the heart. We ask you, as we move closer to Pledge Sunday, that you trust Christ and how he leads your heart.
Blessing, Pastor Andy