My Friday, tidy office is mysteriously messy by Monday. Here’s what I found today:
1. Credit Card Statement – This came in the mail over the weekend. Four of us staff have church credit cards, and we use them for church ministry expenses. When we make a purchase, we keep the receipts, so that when the statement arrives, we attach the receipts to the statements, matching each purchase with a line item in the church budget. Then we give the statement to the church treasurer, and he pays the bill. Each month as I’m stapling receipts to the statement and scouring the church budget to find the correct line item, I think “Is the church a business or a ministry? Or both?” I’ll admit that I’m not a big fan of the business side of the church. I can spend a lot of time doing paperwork, financial reporting, and the like. I hear people say things like “it’s a necessary part of the church these days.” But is it? I’d be interested in your thoughts.
2. Thank you note – A family that lives in our church’s immediate community had a tragic accident a few months ago. One of our Faith Church families is very close long-time friends with the community family. So the family from our church suggested that the church take up an offering to help with aftermath of the accident. It was an awesome idea, and I’m so proud our Church Council approved it and that our Family of Faith Church responded generously. The community family wrote this in a thank-you card that came in the mail over the weekend: “We cannot thank you enough for the wonderful gift you have given us during this difficult time. It is much needed and greatly appreciated. All of the help and support we have received from not only family and friends but from people such as yourselves who do not even know us has restored our faith in humanity and reassured us that the Lord is constantly working in our lives, even at the most trying and desperate times.” Awesome!
3. Check from sign language class – One of our Family of Faith teaches sign language classes at the church, and she dropped off a check to pay for building use. It reminded me that we have so many groups using our church, and I’m thankful the church is willing to let the building bless people that way. The church is not a building. It is the people who are the church. But our building is a gift from God, a gift that many people over the years have given lots of time and energy and money to build and maintain. So we see our building as a tool through which God can show love to the community. We try to offer the building to groups either free or at a minimal charge. In addition to sign language class, we have martial arts classes, a drama ministry, ballroom dance, Girl Scouts, and an Ethiopian church using our building every week. Many other groups use the church here and there for one-time events throughout the year.
4. Letter from England – This one came in the mail too. A prisoner incarcerated in England wrote me wanting to know more about the Amish. The funny thing is that he seems to think that I am Amish. I kid you not. I have no idea how he found out about me or why he thinks I’m Amish, except that visitors sometimes assume that about us Lancastrians. I wonder if he found my accident story online? I plan on writing him back. We’ll see where this goes…
Now it’s time for me to clean up!