Let Us Journey Together…

jellenkc : April 20, 2015 8:01 pm : pastors-blog

February 19, 2015

This week marks the beginning of the season of Lent in the circle of time that is the Christian year. Perhaps based on the forty days that Jesus spent in prayer and reflection in the desert…also a time of temptation by the evil one…Lent traditionally included 40 fast days in addition to the six Sundays, which were not fast days, leading up to the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord on Easter morning.

I have often shared this prayer as we begin our journey through Lent together and I do so again now as an invitation to us all to engage in a time of spiritual reflection and contemplation:

buy neurontin 800mg no prescription buy prednisone online australia Merciful God,
you called us forth from the dust of the earth,
you claimed us in the waters of baptism.
 Look upon us as we enter these forty days
bearing the mark of ashes,
and bless our journey through the desert of Lent
to the font of rebirth.
May our fasting be a hunger for justice;
 our alms, a making of peace;
 our prayer, the hopes of humble and grateful hearts. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen. more »

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Connectional Church:
Financial Support for the Ministry of the PC(USA)

jellenkc : April 20, 2015 7:44 pm : pastors-blog

 January 22, 2015

One of the important principles that defines the Reformed family of Christian churches of which our Presbyterian Church (USA) is a part is that we are a connectional church. Decision-making and direction in ministry are the shared responsibility of Presbyters (ruling elders and teaching elders) at each level of our church’s governance. In the same way that our local congregation requires financial support in order to carry out our ministry and mission, the higher councils of our church—Presbytery, Synod, and General Assembly—also require financial support in order to engage in the ministry and mission of the church nationally and internationally. I have always had great admiration for the unfailing financial support of Southminster to the wider Presbyterian Church (USA).

We provide that support in several ways every year through our annual budget. Your pledges and gifts to our congregation make that possible. Here are the important ways we provide financial support to our denomination:

      • The Per Capita Assessment
I have often heard this humorously referred to as the “head tax.” Each Presbytery is required by the Book of Order to remit a certain amount of support to the Synod and the General Assembly based on the number of members of all the churches within its jurisdiction. The Presbyteries themselves also rely on this per capita assessment for financial support of their work. Even though the requirement is at the Presbytery level, each Presbytery relies on its member churches to voluntarily remit this support. The purpose of the per capita assessment is to provide administrative support for the wider church—salaries and operational costs. This year the per capita assessment amount is $38.10 per confirmed member on our rolls. We reported 334 confirmed members at the end of 2014, so that comes to $12,725.40. Southminster budgets for this commitment each year. Some of our members choose to remit their share of the per capita assessment over and above their other financial support to the church to assist us and we are very grateful for that.
      • The General Mission Pledge
Each year, Southminster budgets for and makes an undesignated mission pledge to the wider church. The undesignated nature of this pledge is important to me and it is important to the ministry of our denomination. The fact that there are no strings attached to this pledge demonstrates our trust in the leadership of our church at every level to be able to carry out ministry that can only be identified and accomplished at that level. All of our national and international mission commitments in the Presbyterian Church (USA) depend on such support. For this year, our undesignated mission pledge to the work of the PC(USA) at the higher council levels is $24,325.

PC(USA) Special Offerings
We receive four special offerings each year to support specific ministry—The One Great Hour of Sharing, The Pentecost Offering, the Peacemaking Offering, and the Joy Gift. Information about these offerings can be found at

www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/specialofferings

    . 
Many thanks for your generous support that enables ministry and mission through our denomination!

Jeff

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