Prayer 7:13 Prayer 713
North Highland United Methodist Church
Sunday, December 17, 2017
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

 

Budgets are More than Numbers—They Tell a Story 
 
 
Emails and mailings from the District Superintendent signal Charge Conference season. This year our annual Charge Conference (which is a United Methodist annual meeting) will be held with area churches here at North Highland, November 30th, 7pm. This is a variance on what we are accustomed to, and it also gives NHUMC an opportunity to model some really great hospitality. Watch for sign up sheets to extend hospitality by bringing and serving goodies for our guests .
 
It also means a fair amount of paper work to complete, committees to round out, and of course preparation of a budget. The budget discussions about money, and our own personal giving is generally not a favorite topic. Which is unfortunate. Because we have a wonderful place from which to do ministry, we are gifted with talents and resources to share, and we have all been recipients of grace upon grace. So perhaps we can celebrate the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than ourselves—and also look at a budget as more than a line by line document. Each line is connected to another, and tells a bigger story of the ministries and life of our church.
 
For example, the utilities are more than lights and heat—they add to the space where we do Intentional Faith Development through Sunday School, UMW, Youth, VBS, Bible Study, and various Fellowship Groups. The sanctuary becomes a welcoming place where Passionate Worship that is engaging and meaningful happens on Sundays, Christmas Eve, Good Friday, Easter and more. The line items for music, communion elements, candles and more also tie into the utilities line items because it is worship that breathes life into us as a community. We care for our buildings and grounds so that we can provide consistent and Radical Hospitality in a comfortable and engaging environment. Hospitality extends into our missions work including the Mission and Service happening right now in the Fellowship Hall where the lights and heat are on so coats and winter gear are sorted to give out as a means of hospitality and witness. Now, this is only a brief example of how our budget ties together and tells the story of our church life and ministries. You will hopefully hear and see more of this type of budget presentation, which is called a narrative budget.
 
As we grow in faith development, experience connection to our Creator God in worship, work together in a spirit of hospitality as we take part in mission and service, our generosity should grow also. It is in a spirit of Extravagant Generosity that God has loved us—exceeding all expectations, with unexpected measures. Might we also respond to God’s call and be a people and a church that in turn lives and gives in a spirit of extravagant generosity? Your church has an amazing story to tell. Will you become a generous partner in it’s story?
 

November 2017