Good News, Bad News, Good News
One of the high points of our Jubilee Celebration last November was the announcement that $1.2 million had been given and pledged to our Jubilee Debt initiative. A couple weeks ago, we cut a check to eliminate $500,000 (basically all of the cash received to date from the pledges) of that debt. Good news, indeed!
Here’s the bad news: in November, general giving—the money that pays salaries and light bills and toilet paper—plummeted. Up through October, our giving was running at 104% of budget for the first five months of the year, an encouraging sign of the momentum and excitement that all of us have felt over the last year. God really is at work at Chapel Hill in a powerful way, isn’t He? And our Sweetheart Church has always responded generously as they see evidence of the Holy Spirit’s activity.
So, then… what happened to giving in November? The same thing that often happens when we do a “special” offering of some sort: some folks get so excited about the special offering—in this case, the idea of debt reduction—that they want to participate. Which is great! Problem is, they simply transfer their giving from the operating budget to the special offering… which leaves us scrambling to maintain a balanced budget.
So, we went from a giving surplus of $45,500 On October 31 to a giving deficit of $105,600 as of January 31. And then (oh, joy!) a Snow Sunday… which hammered our attendance by 50% and dropped our giving even further. All of that is bad news for our budget.
Here’s the good news: Chapel Hill has always risen to the challenge when a need is presented to them. So I’m confident you will again. Will you please review your intended giving and bring it current. If you transferred your giving to the Debt Initiative, thanks so much for your enthusiasm… but could I ask you to please consider making that a “second-mile gift” by replacing your operating giving. And if you are in a position to do something more to bring us back up—and if you are as excited as I am about the way things are stirring around here—would you please consider an extra one-time gift?
Obviously, as we always do, we will steward every dollar faithfully, and we will make all the cuts necessary to stay within budget, just as your family does. But at a time of real Holy Spirit momentum, it would be a shame to stall out for this reason.
Thanks for your prayers, your support and your excitement about our future.