A community reflecting God’s love with a place at the table for everyone. If you heard Pastor Ben’s sermon last week and attended our Annual Meeting, you’ll recognize those words as the new mission statement for Faith Lutheran Church. That statement reveals a lot about who we are as church in Chico these days, and also tells folks in our community what we aspire to.
In order to empower us for a ministry that is informed by this declaration, we need to give attention to equipping our congregation for the tasks before it. Much of our energy has been directed toward worship and music, fellowship and Bible study, and our newly launched Equipping Ministry. But as I noted in my Message to the Congregation in June’s Faith Talks, it also places on us the obligation to maintain, protect, and reimagine the use of our facilities for ministry in the coming decades.
Our church buildings are in need of more than just a little TLC. Some needs are crucial, like a new roof on some of the structures that are suffering damaging leaks. It’s time to replace our barely functioning sound and AV systems in the sanctuary, (Pr. Ben’s video presentation on what we are working with each week as we prepare the internet service is instructive!) Bathrooms need crucial repairs and reconfiguration. The list goes on with a dozen smaller needs (here’s a list of what we have to address).
Our Church Council recognizes the need to respond to these challenges as one of our most pressing obligations over the coming three years. We have started the process of raising the approximately $400,000 in the next 30 months that we will need to systematically address these needs. Preparing the Banquet: Setting our Table for the Next Generation (here is a link to more details) will be the focus of Faith’s Stewardship and Capital Campaign 2020-2023. Building on the work of previous generations that bought the land and erected our first church in the 1950s, to the last generation of members who funded and built--in the late 1980s--the facilities that we enjoy today, we want to begin work on keeping that legacy, ministry, and our church thriving in the future.
There are many ways that you can be part of this effort, and you’ll be hearing a lot more about this in the next few months. But here are a few opportunities to consider:
First, share your story with our congregation about what our church home meant to you in the past or what this community means to you now. You’re invited to write a “love letter to Faith Lutheran Church” telling members about your experience, and we’ll share it on our web site.
Second, continue to provide your regular support for our operating budget. Your generosity over the past year has allowed for facility cleaning and upkeep, repair, staff salaries, and strengthening the over two dozen ministries that we support every week. Maintaining that giving, no matter what else we aspire to, is crucial to allowing us to function in these very challenging times.
Third, beyond your regular giving, consider a substantial single or ongoing financial gift on behalf of the Stewardship and Capital Campaign. Gifts can be given through our web page giving portal. Because our current top priority in this campaign is to install our sanctuary sound and audio-visual system that keeps weekly service coming to you, donations should be made to “Audio Visual System.” Additionally, we’ll be mailing out a letter and a stewardship pledge card in the coming week or two that will allow you to share your intentions with us regarding financial support.
Finally, let us meet with you in person on on Zoom to discuss a gift. The Co-chairs of the Stewardship and Capital Campaign and Pastor Ben would welcome the chance to meet with you individually to provide you with more details about our specific needs and to discuss how a significant financial gift could help us complete the nearly two dozen projects that we have identified.
Matthew’s Parable of the Sower—this week’s lectionary Gospel--is a wonderful but challenging reading. In our present circumstances in Chico, it seems particularly poignant: Calling us to action and to discerning God’s call in our lives, but recognizing that our own choices and efforts can result in different outcomes. We have been blessed as a congregation over many years, and now is our chance to give back to our church as we plant new seeds for future harvests! With thanks and gratitude!
Co-Chairs, Faith Lutheran Church Stewardship and Capital Campaign 2020-2023