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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Does Our Global Imperative Impact Church Finance?

If you think this..... have faith. We are living into our future in new ways.

Most Christian churches impacted by demographics and changing culture are declining in #’s and tithes. Ours, being small has a more fragile base. World Church has been quite transparent about its financial realities; however, I do not think we all grasp the severity of the pending downsizing that is taking place. This is the 3rd downsizing in 10 years so employees are already wearing multiple hats. The current early retirement and downsizing will now reduce W/C employees deeper and drastically. Sooo many, gifted and devoted people will be released to unknowns in their lives. We have relied upon those few for all the resources we enjoy. I have been blessed this past year to get to know many of these folks. They are culturally sensitive, inclusive and spiritually discerning individuals. To change the hearts and minds of a people towards “new emerging inclusive trends” we need people like this to create life and mind changing resources to inform us and transform us. We need videos and technology to connect with us relevantly where we are and inclusively broaden understanding in the far reaches of our global community. Who will do this and how will it be financed?

Church finance, seen as someone else's task, has not stirred the hearts of people to contribute except at the local level where people can hopefully see their $$ at work. We are a global church but in reality our people are locally focused. We are supportive of global humanitarian causes and offer our support willingly, but in some sense we see the “global” detracting from our lives when it comes to relevant policy related to our own unique lifestyle contexts and emerging culture. In Canada I am sure this statement resonates with many of us. Broad global decision-making is perceived by many as infringing upon our own personal lives and ministry where we live. This impacts our financial loyalty and our endearment to World Church. So, World Church identity for many no longer captivates. For many there is detachment from the heart of who we are. This disconnect has created an indifference towards the Meaning, Place and Pilgrimage with regards to the Temple and its enlivening functions in the life of our sacred community. World Church has gone for many from being our spiritual centre to a head office entity with the typical institutional indifference accorded any secular corporation. So people don’t give financially in that impersonal we/them relationship.

Be assured we will as a church through our dialogical processes in concert with the principles of common consent be contextually relevant. You will regain your sense of identity. Let us allow the prophetic to emerge, let us allow the grace of time to be reasonably extended, to participate in peaceful mutuality that empowers our leading quorums to fulfill their callings as catalysts of change. Our lives in turn will be blessed in what can be described as in old, as “A Marvellous Work and a Wonder”. Have faith, have trust and live in the hope-inspired knowing that God is with us and leading the way. Be assured the local imperative in your life is not forgotten in the midst of our global identity.

I believe the “We All Can Help” program can become a clarion call that enables us all, to participate and make a real difference financially from our everyday lives starting today. We do not have to make a choice of local or global. We don’t have to decide our standing with regards to our position on that issue or this. We enable the church to venture forth in this time of global and local transition to discover our relevance in living context, to be authentic in the momentous diversity of our world. I believe The “We All Can Help” fund will help give the church “a time to breathe” in the midst of transition. There is even now, great hope emerging in the vision and practicalities of discerning and living out Mission. If we are faithful to our prophetic heritage we will see an opportunity to advance the church through our day to day loyalty to the “We All Can Help” lifestyle choice offered you.

I believe with all my heart that we are a church with a Divine calling, not an exclusive calling, but a divine alliance calling with a vision and role uniquely ours to be shared in Mission with other inclusive faith groups and organizations recognizing the worth of persons. Our vision and identity of peace and hope in a fractured world to create sacred community, informs who we are and “all” others. We are a people called to make a difference in this world in the places that we individually occupy. Let us put rubber to the road in our calling by participating with our lives and our means.

Submitted by Kerry Richards