From the Pastor’s Desk
What’s behind the numbers?
On January 15th the congregation heard a report on the 2017 Allison Creek budget. I wanted to make sure that everyone had the important information behind the numbers.
In 2016 we anticipated a budget deficit of $20,000. Through good stewardship and increases in giving we ended 2016 about $8,000 short. So our contributions were $12,000 more than what the session anticipated. We have set a budget for 2017 with a deficit of $9,500 but we are hopeful that if current giving trends continue that we will again exceed our anticipated giving. We have been able to cover our shortfall through investment income held by the church. Session is very hopeful of our giving trends based on pledges and also by increases in the number of people involved in the ministry of ACPC. God is using ACPC in very exciting ways. Session also voted to increase the gym rental charge for outside groups that use the gym like the Lake Wylie Athletic Association.
I want to thank you for the financial support which you provide me as your pastor. I realize that it is difficult to support a full-time pastor. As the budget shows it costs almost as much to pay my insurance and retirement costs as it does my housing allowance. I never take your generosity for granted.
You may have noticed some changes in the chancel area of the sanctuary. Some folks met to discuss worship trends and decided to free up space for additional creativity. We have already seen how it can be used to enrich our worship experience.
At our session retreat we talked about focusing on small groups and building up Common Ground. You will be hearing more about this in the weeks ahead.
May God continue to bless the ministry of ACPC.
This week we learned of the death of Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon. I thought you would enjoy this story that he told about a conversation he once had with his granddaughter.
One evening, as the moon climbed full and achingly bright above the hills, I scooped my five-year-old granddaughter Ashley into my arms, just as I had once held her mother, Tracy, beneath a similar night sky. I thought that now perhaps she was old enough to understand, to remember, and I prepared to tell her the story.
Before I could speak, she pointed straight up and declared in an excited voice, “Poppie, there’s your moon.” She had always called it that, never knowing why.
Do you know how far away is it, Punk?” I asked.
She seemed puzzled, for a child of that age could not possible grasp such a distance, so I rambled on, using words familiar to her.
“It’s way, way far away in the sky, out where God lives,” I said. “Poppie flew his rocket up there and lived on that moon for three whole days. I even wrote your mommy’s initials in the sand.”
Ashley gazed at it a little longer, then lowered her eyes to meet mine, and she saw not some mighty suited-up space hero from an age before she was born, but only her silver-haired grandfather.
“Poppie,” she said, “I didn’t know you went to heaven.”
Psalm 123:1 “To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!”