Dear City Church Family, A basic principle that guides City Church is that the gospel changes everything. In other words, the good news of God's love for us in Jesus Christ affects every facet of our lives. That "everything" includes our money.
In relation to our money, I've been thinking about 1 Peter 4:10: "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace." I've noticed a few things about this verse: - First, our stewardship begins with our receiving; we have received gifts from God. - Second, our stewardship is to be directed towards others; we serve one another. - Third, our individual stewardship looks different because God's grace (gift) manifests variously in our lives. - And finally, our stewardship brings honor to God. As Peter says in the next verse, "that in everything God may be glorified."
My hope for City Church is that we will grow as good stewards of God's grace to us, particularly when it comes to our money.
City Church has about 3 weeks remaining in its fiscal year. As of the end of May, our actual year-to-date giving trailed our budgeted target by $7,500 (or about 2%). If you are able to give financially to City Church before the end of June, you will help us to finish the fiscal year with a balanced budget. To this point, God has provided richly for our church, and we're confident He will continue to do so. As I talk with people from City Church, I hear various stories. I hear about how some who for years have given money to the church, some who haven't begun to make any regular contributions, and some who are re-evaluating their personal budgets in order to give more. Wherever you are in the spectrum, I encourage you to pray about how your giving to City Church can demonstrate faithful stewardship of God's varied grace to you.
Connected to our appeals to steward well the resources God has entrusted to you is our commitment as a church to steward well what has been entrusted to us. We want our stewardship as a church to encourage you to give freely and joyfully, knowing that what you give is invested well--in the church, in Richmond, and throughout the world. Our budget clearly demonstrates our priorities: investing in people--namely our church staff--who lead and serve the church (about 60%), investing in our shared life together as Christ's Body--through events and ongoing programming (about 20%), and investing in the larger work of God in the world by giving away to others 20% of all that we receive from the congregation. Our pattern of stewardship starts with a recognition of how much we have received from God and leads us to give as a blessing to others.
The City Church Session has approved a budget for the coming 12 months (July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015). Our annual budget review and presentation will take place immediately following our worship service on Sunday, June 29th. All are invited to attend. Members of the Finance Team will be on hand to address any questions.
At City Church we really believe that the gospel of Jesus changes everything, including our relationship to our money. Together let us strive to be good stewards of God's varied grace.
Erik Bonkovsky Pastor
City Church of Richmond PO Box 5583 Richmond, VA, 23220 phone: 804.516.7646 email: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.citychurchrva.com