Art of Love: Relationships of Heart - 10/23/2011

Sermon text:   Deuteronomy 6:4-9 & John 13:31-35

   Last week I told you about a survey completed by our denomination at the end of 2010, and how it reports that the income in three of every five congregations has declined in the wake of the economic crisis that began in late 2007. It went on to say that the majority of PC(USA) congregations have felt the impact of the economic crisis in the form of less money available from investments and savings accounts, less money available for mission and benevolence, more requests for cash assistance, more unemployment among church members, a staff salary reduction or a salary freeze, and challenges for capital campaigns and building programs. And I also shared with you that in the spring of 2011, 24% of Presbyterian ministers describe their congregations financial situation as “serious” and 47% describe it as “tight, but we manage.” I stated that the latter is where we find ourselves, but if our current trend continues … we may be moving into the former.

   I concluded my opening statements with the question: We have a great location and great facilities to do mission and ministry right here where God has placed us, but will we have the money necessary to continue that high quality of mission and ministry we are accustomed to, or will there be additional cuts … to programming, to missions and yes, even to staff? … Read full sermon here (PDF)