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Klamath Falls Seventh-day Adventist Church
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Greetings Church Family,
It’s been over seven months now since we arrived here to serve you all. That means seven business/board meetings to discuss and plan for the future of Klamath Falls SDA Church. Speaking specifically of the church’s finances, it has been amazing to see how God has blessed thus far with the giving of monies for evangelistic projects such as A Pale Horse Rides and the Christmas Program put on by Fountainview Academy. I praise God for your generosity. The reason for this end-of-the-year letter is simply to help educate the church family with where your tithes and offerings go to support God’s ministry. With so much going on in our weekly schedules, it can be challenging to remember how things work within the local church. We are very blessed, and your faithfulness in giving of your tithes and offerings in 2017 is greatly appreciated.
The church started a new fiscal year July 1, 2017. We ended the previous fiscal year above budget!!! Praise God! The budget, however, was generally set to keep things in motion the way they have been going. In other words, in order to plan long term for programs and activities to reach our community - more monies will be needed. Budgets tend to be set and planned for based on previous year’s use. There will be certain projects that we will promote and raise awareness to. Wouldn’t it be great if we could plan for events and programs without then checking to see if funds are available?
One thing I know, God is faithful in His provisions. There was a time in my life when I “paid” my tithe faithfully each month. I now look at things differently (hang in there). You see, the Bible says that the “earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it” Psalm 24:1 NIV. That includes my paycheck, my house, my car, my wife, my kids, and myself. It took me a while to realize this, but I no longer “pay” tithe… I “return” it. It was God’s from the get go. The returning of tithe is in response to our trust in God. The giving of offerings is in response to our love for God.
For those that were unaware all monies designated as “tithe” are sent to the Oregon Conference to help with pastoral income, health insurance, retirement, etc. None of the tithe money stays to help the local church. Some of those monies indirectly help to pay for a local pastor and provide for pastors/gospel workers all over the world.
Total monthly church expenses in Klamath Falls are approximately $7300. With a church membership of 309 people, this equates to $23.62 per person, per month in offerings set aside for church budget. Now I understand that not all 309 are in attendance, so taking half of that number we would be looking at an average of $47.40 per person per month. Some people give more, some give less - I understand that. This is just to help put things into perspective for everyone. By giving an “offering” in addition to your tithe, you help keep the lights on in the church, keep toilet paper in the stalls, help put literature out in the community, assist people with correspondence Bible Studies, assist youth in our church school, help with evangelistic events, keep Pathfinders going on, and many other things. Your contribution to the local church budget goes a long way! These monies would come from either the loose offering on 1st and 3rd Sabbaths or by designating your offering to “local church budget” on the tithe/offering envelope line. Also, keep in mind that all the 2nd and 4th Sabbath loose offerings (anything just placed in the offering plate without a tithe envelope) will go toward whatever mission/ministry is announced from the pulpit that Sabbath.
Again, thank you for giving what you can and should. Please prayerfully consider how you can either start giving or properly return and give that which is the Lord’s. Feel free to contact me, or one of the Elders, for further clarification or for any other questions. We hope this helps you understand how the Lord’s money is being put to use. May we all continue to stay faithful as He has been faithful.
I’d like to leave you with a story I found in Reader’s Digest recently about how one young man from Fort Worth, TX helped to change the lives of others less fortunate than himself.
This appeared in an article from 2010:
When Delwyn Collins was a kid growing up in the projects of Fort Worth, Texas, he was labeled handicapped with a learning disability and sent to a special education school. His teachers never suspected that Collins was a genius at caring: Today the 52-year-old cafeteria worker at Tampa General Hospital is nothing less than an angel to hundreds of foster children in Hills-borough County, Florida. These children— many with special needs and often moved from home to home— tug hard at Collins’s heart. Christmas 2010 will mark the 21st year he has set up a Foster Angel’s Giving Tree decorated with paper angels bearing the first names, ages, and gender of foster children and the gifts each child would like to receive.
Collins is a man of modest means, but each week he sets aside a portion of his paycheck to buy gifts to put under the tree. “I just want to show these children there is somebody out there in the community who loves them.” His unpretentious example has inspired the doctors, nurses, and administrators he works with to make the Giving Tree a priority. Hospital employees and visitors take an angel off the tree and buy the present the child has requested.
As Christmas nears, bicycles, dolls, clothes, and games begin to overflow the cafeteria. In recent years, the program has begun to receive presents from donors throughout the county. More than 1,000 kids in foster care in and around Tampa received gifts in 2009. “My job is to help and give to others,” says Collins. “God doesn’t care if we’re rich or poor.”
Folks, I appreciate the ways in which you have given of your time, talents, and resources for the cause of Christ in 2017. May we continue to stay faithful to the work of reconciliation, and of taking the gospel out to the whole world.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 NIV
Courage Klamath and Happy New Year!
Pastor Jon Holland