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Excelling in this Grace

One of the things I love about this season of the year that is squeezed in between Thanksgiving and Christmas is that it brings out the gift of generosity in so many of you.  Spiritually, this is wonderful, as God says in 2 Corinthians 8:1-7 that He longs for us to excel at and be rich in generosity. I believe that any God-honoring Church not only encourages a rich generosity but also facilitates it. Here are some the ways that will happen beginning this Sunday.

– A year-end special above and beyond gift to Hope’s ministry budget, which is labeled “General Fund” for those who give via Church Community Builder. Hope’s budget is an expression of its full vision for ministry and includes missions, benevolence, evangelism and ministry as well as the infrastructure of ministry like facilities, administration, and staff.  In short, if it is something we should be doing, we work to put it in our budget. If you are giving by check, just put “Budget” in the Memo line.

– The “Giving Tree”.  In the middle of the lobby on Sunday there will be a Christmas Tree with snowflake ornaments on it.  These will be labeled with one of four giving opportunities (they’ll be color coded).  You can grab the ornament and take it with you as a reminder.  You can skip the line and just give toward these causes via CCB.  Here are the options:

– YEC Scholarship – Our teens attend a mid-winter spiritual enrichment conference.  The 2-night, 2-day conference costs $150 per student.  You can donate any amount to this scholarship fund, but the ornaments suggest either a 50% amount of $75 or 100% at 150.  If contributing by check, put “YEC Scholarship” in the Memo line.

– Good Rain – This refers to my annual mission project in Rwanda.  We are holding a marriage retreat for the Pastors and their wives this year.  We are looking for funds to sponsor each couple.  Transporting, feeding, housing, providing a new dress for each wife, and a bag of rice to take home costs about $100/couple. There are 55 couples all together.  You can contribute any amount, but the ornaments suggest either a half or full scholarship ($50 or $100).  If giving by check, “Good Rain” in the Memo line of your check.

– Transitions at Devens.  Hope has an active connection with this home on Devens that assists Mom’s with kids transition to a better future.  We are looking for $20 pre-paid Visa or Mastercard that they can use to pay for transportation to Doctor’s offices and the like.  We are hoping to get 30 of them.  If you chose to donate via CCB or Check, we will purchase the cards from the funds collected. Either way is fine.

– Grocery Store gift cards.  We are looking for $25 cards to area grocery stores that will be used to assist those in need.  We provide some to the area Senior Centers as well as the local schools for them to distribute to those they serve.  Depending on the quantity received we will also keep some for our Deacons to distribute.

I am praying we will excel in this grace of giving as well.

Blessings,

Neal

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