There has been a special announcement from our shepherds on each of the last two Sundays.
Two weeks ago Charley Belch made a presentation regarding our 2012 Budget. Our weekly budget will be $9650, which is a very makeable goal. Recognizing the economic difficulties of our area, including some of our own families here at South Fork, our deacons and other ministry leaders were challenged by our shepherds to cut back on their budget needs for this year. I know the Lord will bless our work in 2012!
We have a special blessing this year—we have 53 Sundays. Maybe you don’t see that as much of a blessing, but I really hope that you do!! With our special Mission Contribution each November, we have been operating on a 51-week budget. We will continue that this year as well, and also continue our Mission Contribution, in which every cent paid on that Sunday will go toward our 2013 mission planning. With the extra Sunday we will have a special contribution to help fund our Benevolence ministry. Over these past several difficult years we have seen more and more requests for financial help, including from our own church family. 100% of the contribution given on March 25 will go toward funding these special requests for help, as well as assisting the Food Bank with their Backpack Program which sends needy children home for the weekend with food. You will hear more about this over the next several weeks.
This past Sunday Phil Stapp shared a message from our elders concerning our Shepherd Groups. As Phil reported the numbers and other response indicates that many are being encouraged and helped and are doing the same for others through this wonderful ministry. However there are some who prefer a more traditional Sunday night assembly, and so the elders announced that while we will continue our Shepherd Groups as they are through this Spring we will also have a Sunday evening assembly at 6:00 in the auditorium. That assembly will include one of our seven Shepherd Groups as well as any other folks that would like to attend. I began a sermon series on the Prophets this past Sunday evening, and will preach on the life and ministry of Samuel this Sunday evening in the auditorium.
This Sunday morning we begin another new series. I’ve entitled it, “What I Believe and Why.” We will examine some of our core beliefs and other particular doctrines. It’s entitled “What I Believe and Why” on purpose. While we will find that we share these basic beliefs, you must come to these beliefs yourself, and must answer for yourself what you belief, and why you believe those things. However, there is one more question that is absolutely critical that must follow. More on that in the message Sunday.