I hope each person who is part of the Lighthouse family reads this, prays about it, and responds as able. This is an open appeal to our congregation, as your help is needed in several key areas:
1) Offerings. We went from one of the highest offering months on record in December to one of the lowest months on record in January. We missed our weekly budget need 4 out of 5 weeks in January, averaging over $5,000 per week short, leaving us with a $25,247 deficit so far this year. This is simply unsustainable. We need to hire our retired office manager’s replacement, among many other needs, but a giving shortage makes this a greater challenge. What has happened? The online giving has stayed pretty consistent throughout the pandemic, but the in-person giving this past month really dropped. Why?
2) Attendance. We went from an average of 312 in Sunday worship the last half of last year to 278 in January. Two of the weeks in January we had about 40 less than usual, and one week we had 100 less people. It did not rain any of those Sundays, though it was cooler than normal some weeks, which is why we started having our services later. If you wear a coat at 9:30 in the morning, and/or sit in the sun, it is comfortable, and you don’t need a coat by 11:00. We don’t want anyone to get sick, but we cannot stop attending church until summer and still have a church, especially if we stop giving when we don’t attend! What’s going to happen if it rains one of these Sundays and everyone watches from home – does nobody then give?
This isn’t meant for those who cannot attend for health reasons, but for those who can. Attending according to the season and giving only when we attend doesn’t work practically or biblically. We need you in season and out of season, as members of this body: we are less when you are not here. Practically, we have a big mortgage that must be paid each month, plus utilities, salaries, missions, and maintenance contracts, regardless. That’s why the Bible teaches tithing. Tithing doesn’t depend on the weather or whether you are able to attend, but on giving God a tenth of all He gives you (see Genesis 28:20-22; Leviticus 27:30-32; Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 23:23). So I implore you – if you have missed any tithes this year, PLEASE make them up by bringing or sending them in ASAP! And if you are able to give any extra love offerings, those could help make up this deficit before it grows any larger. And if you are home-bound, you can still watch from home, give, and pray for us. I wish this pandemic was over, but we’re giving our best each week, planning & setting up for outdoor worship, preparing the children’s moments and sermons, and making improvements, like redoing our whole canopy system after the windstorm last week (thanks to all who helped!).
3) Service. There are 36 areas on our Service Survey where volunteers are needed. Thank you to those who have already responded. If you need a survey, you can download one from our church website under the sermon listing for Jan. 24, 2021, or pick one up on Sunday, or call our office to have one sent to you by email or mail. Your help is needed and appreciated! We hope to collect them all in the next week or two. When we all do our part, the whole body grows and is built up in love (Ephesians 4:16).
So join us this Sunday if you can, invite a friend or neighbor, give as the Lord blesses you, and let’s all find a place to serve. Thank you for your help!
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal. 6:9)
Mike Openshaw, Senior Minister