Tag Archives: mail

Credit Card Statement, Thank you note, Check, Letter from England – The Monday Messy Office Report – March 17, 2014

17 Mar

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!

 

USB Flash Drive, Employee Salary Audit – The Monday Messy Office Report – March 3, 2014

3 Mar

My Friday, tidy office is mysteriously messy by Monday.  Here’s what I found today:

1. A USB Flash Drive.  A nice one too.  32GB.  But truth be told, I know why it is here because I put it here.  Kinda. I did receive it from someone yesterday, and I put it in my office for safekeeping.  We’re having another Family Night on Wednesday, and after the meal, a lady from Faith Church, Terry, will be talking about her recent trip to Boone, North Carolina where she and a couple friends served with Operation Christmas Child (OCC) at their distribution center.  One of those friends made a PowerPoint that we’re going to show on Wednesday, and she loaded it onto the flash drive.  Are you familiar with OCC?  You know the shoeboxes that a lot of churches fill for children in need around the world?  That’s Operation Christmas Child.  Do you know what happens to all those boxes?  Maybe you filled one last year?  I’m excited to hear what happens when the shoeboxes leave the church.  Terry has told me a bit of the story, and it is amazing, especially the part about the impact shoeboxes, filled with love, can make in the lives of kids around the world.  How about joining us Wednesday night to learn more?

2. Employee Salary Audit.  Booooooooooring.  I really wrestle with the business elements of being a church in our era.  This audit is a form that our denomination asks us to fill out each year.  It’s not that complicated, really.  We just have to write down the list of everyone we paid salary to this year and how much.  Frankly, the business side of the church doesn’t interest me all that much.  I have a hard time caring why my denomination would want to know that, but I trust them that there is a good reason.  Thankfully, I don’t have to fill out that paper.  We have dedicated volunteers that are much more talented at managing the finances of the church than I am.  I praise the Lord for the way he has gifted people in different ways, such as having a business or financial mind.  What scares me, though, is when the church is so business-oriented that we can be side-tracked from the mission of God’s Kingdom.

3. Mail.  I have a couple pieces of Saturday’s mail sitting on my counter: a packet from International Christian Concern (ICC), and a newsletter from Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF).  Lots of acronyms today.  ICC is an org that documents the persecution of Christians around the world.  Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ around the globe face hardship and personal violence that no one, no matter what they believe, should face.  It is hard for me to read ICC’s publications sometimes because the stories are so painful.  We need to remember, pray for, and advocate on behalf our our persecuted brothers and sisters.  CEF is the group that gives oversight to Good News Clubs (GNC) in elementary schools around the county.  We have a great group of volunteers that run the GNC in our local elementary school, Smoketown.  In fact GNC for spring 2014 starts today!  It is a great way to reach out to kids in our community, and we are quite thankful for the generosity of our school district to allow us to meet after school in Smoketown’s large group room.

Now it’s time for me to clean up!