Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Shining brighter…

Behind the Table of the church I served in Lexington stood a three-stories tall stained-glass window. Artfully declaring the good news of Jesus, it depicted both scenes of his life and modern life, in which Jesus and followers served the needy, helped the hurting, praised the glory of God. Truth be told, worshippers had trouble looking away from that window. It was that striking, that well done.

And it was there because a church member wanted to invest in his church’s future, in the mission of God in that place. Apparently, one day the music minister paid the man a visit, saw his yard needing mowing, then told his son to return on Saturday to help. Soon after, the man pulled the minister aside. “Tell your son thanks. By the way, can I help design a $100,000 stained-glass window for the church?” “Uhhh…” was the minister’s stunned response. But soon enough, the deed was done. And now the glass, the beauty the church member helped create inspires awe, evokes majesty, calls its viewers to deeper acts of faithful service. In short, it helps do what church ought do: Bring the Kingdom of God into our midst.

Over the next month, you’ll hear a lot about giving, the Kingdom of God in our midst, investing in the beauty and future of our church through your time, talent and treasures. We’ve talked some in recent months about needing to raise money for facility improvements. To date, in fact, we’ve already received $11,500! But as the Board and other leaders have looked around, talked with members, prayerfully considered our needs and options, it’s become clear that we’ll need more money to do what needs doing. Specifically, we hope to revamp our parking lot, restore our carpets, swap out sanctuary windows, fix our roof and pay down debt. One reason why is obvious; our decades-old building and grounds demand attention! The other- and to my mind, more pressing- reason has to do with our church’s mission.

Imagine you’re a young family in Plymouth, MN, wondering if any churches nearby welcome everybody, don’t tell you what you must believe, encourage warm relationships across generations and live out deepening faith through service. I believe many would find that church attractive. And I think that church is…Plymouth Creek! Then, you drive into our lot, immediately avoiding a massive hole. You enter the building, then see a funky carpet and crumbling windows. You read our budget and realize we’re good stewards of scant resources, but still spend a chunk on debt, rather than ministry to children or the poor. You’d want to make this place your home, right?! You’d want to serve and shine with us! But you might have second thoughts, “Will they make it? Can they overcome these challenges?”

Fast forward to next Spring, though, after a successful Capital Campaign, after PCCCers pledge to give x number of dollars over three years to make our church shine brighter now and for generations, we’ll be that same church with great values, boldly living 21st-century Christian faith, but all those questions about facilities, well, they’ll have diminished, maybe disappeared. For that reason, especially, is why my family will give money to this Capital Campaign. Not because we believe in Plymouth Creek’s building. We believe in our mission. We’re inspired by our vision- To become a beacon of Christian openness and service in the Northwestern suburbs. We’re grateful for the investments of generations before us, and want to do our part now.

So will you give with Tabitha and me? Again, the Campaign starts September 30 and runs for four weeks. By October 21, we hope you’ll turn pledges in for…$2,000? $20,000? We have details on the projects and spending decisions that we’ll share in other formats. Please ask all the questions you need, and pray for God’s good guidance. Can we do it? Absolutely! With God, all things are possible. And God’s called us to be, like Jesus, lights for the world around us. Let us shine, therefore, as bright now as we can, and- God willing- unto generations more!

 Grace and Peace,
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