Dear Congregation and Friends,
This past week, we as a congregation through the power of the Holy Spirit, took a gigantic leap forward in our vision of Transforming Hearts Through Jesus Christ. It came through the glorious and blessed experience of our first annual Global Impact Celebration. Along with the entire St. Michael’s staff, I am overflowing with thanksgiving and praise for what God has done and continues to do as we intentionally focus on His mission. In case you haven’t heard, our Faith Promise commitments totaled
This money will be used exclusively for missions (no administration costs!).
Just as powerful, a high percentage of our congregation indicated a call to missions. Many have said for the first time they want to go on a short-term mission, new volunteers who want to work with the GIC Team next year, and, far more people have committed to pray for missionaries and mission causes than ever before. I am overwhelmed and I just want to say “Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!”
If you were not able to participate in making a Faith Promise or Life Commitment at one of the Sunday services due to timing or circumstances, it is not too late. Simply fill out the enclosed faith promise and life commitment cards. Either mail them to the church office or put them in the offertory plate.
Special thanks to Bill and Laura Hewitt, Joe and Nicole Nicholson (our GIC co-chairs); as well as to Swain Marion our, Action Team Director, and to all of the GIC team leaders and team members who worked so well and so hard!
From the grandeur of the Kickoff Service with Ravi Zacharias’ magnificent sermon, to the Ladies’ Luncheon, the Men’s Lunch, dozens of Life Group and other meetings with missionaries, the children’s and youth programs, the International Brunch, and all the way through the Faith Promise and Life Commitment service this past Sunday, your passion, dedication, and creativeness were abundantly evident. Chaplain Barry Black’s sermon was outstanding and exactly what we needed to hear to motivate us to greater heights of mission involvement. To our dear missionary guests who made missions so real and personal to us, we are all humbled. Their lives and the calling to which they so lovingly shared have touched our hearts. We are forever indebted to each of them and count it a high honor to call them our friends.
I also want to express my appreciation to all of the members of our congregation who were so supportive in attending the various events offered during the week. You got outside of your comfort zone. You engaged in what was going on, and in the end, you stepped up and said when it comes to missions, “Count me in!” I am convinced that because of your faithfulness St. Michael’s will never be the same again. More importantly, the world will never be the same again because the Gospel of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, will be proclaimed in places and in ways that it has never been before. To God be the glory!
I am always thanking God for the privilege of being your Rector, but never so much as right now. All of you have lifted my spirit and I am walking in heavenly places.
Blessings in Christ,
How will the Money be used?
The genius of the Global Impact Celebration is that we are not making this process up as we go along. For the last several years in preparation for the 2012 GIC, we have been working with The Mission Society, of Norcross, Georgia as our mentor and guide. The Mission Society created the concept of the GIC and has developed a step-by-step guide for putting on such an event. The Mission Society has worked with churches all over the United States to energize their participation in missions.
Upon the recommendation of The Mission Society, all administrative costs for putting on the GIC is funded from our operating budget (your tithes). These costs include airfare and lodging for the missionaries and speakers. It also includes all other costs of the GIC event. For St. Michael’s, those costs were approximately $30,000. Because those costs are funded from the operating budget, it frees us then to use all of the money raised (your Faith Promise offerings) exclusively for missions!
Faith Promise offerings will be distributed after we pray and plan. First, we pray in thanksgiving! Second, the GIC team meets with our Action team to hand over the cards. Then the Action team begins a prayerful process of making recommendations to the vestry as to how that money will be distributed for mission purposes. The Action Team leadership consists of our Action Team Director, Swain Marion, and the team captains of our 3 H’s:
- Heidi Ravenel, Hungering World Captain
- Scott Myers, Hurting Coast Captain
- Greg Kitchens, Holy City Captain
The plan drafted by the Action Team will then go to the Rector and Wardens, then on to the Vestry for prayer, discernment, and final approval. The specific ways in which these Faith Promise offerings are to be used will be announced to the Parish after final determination by the Vestry.
As the funds become available, they will be distributed to the various mission initiatives.
Thank you again for your amazing generosity as together, we seek the Transformation of Hearts Through Jesus Christ!
How to make an offering toward your Faith Promise Commitment?
To contribute toward your faith promise commitment, simply write “Faith Promise” on the memo line of your check.
You may also contribute to your Faith Promise by PayPal by clicking on the Donate Button and using your PayPal Account.