I love my church. At our steering team meeting last week we approved a budget for 2010 in which 16% of our budget goes to mission. We also approved ways in which to spend the remainder of our 2009 mission budget: I just finished filling out check request forms for more than $6,000 in mission giving. Some of it will go to a local international student ministry, some to a local health center which provides care for uninsured patients. Some of it will go to an organization that runs the after-school program founded by Samuel George. Some of it will support our Presbytery’s newest other new church development and some of it will support a friend of our community who’s leaving soon for a term of work with Christian Peacemaker Teams. Lastly, some of it will buy a large share of a well for people in a country with limited access to safe drinking water. ‘Tis the season for giving, and I’m rejoicing to know that The Upper Room is giving generously. I don’t want to brag or boast, but I am proud to pastor a community which is willing to share God’s blessings to us so broadly.
On a side note, if you’re looking for a last-minute alternative gift for someone, I highly recommend giving to Garfield Farm, which was started by our parent/partner church The Open Door. Check out their alternative gift giving catalog and plant a fruit tree to provide fresh fruit for our neighbors in Garfield!