Into the Word/Into the World

October 2018

Dear Friends,


Our capital campaign, Into the Word/Into the World, has been blessed from its inception.  It has been led from the outset by you, lay members of this church who were here before I arrived and will be here after I am gone. Even before it began, it was conceived by lay members who said now is the time to do what needs to be done.


Whose idea it was is important. What the idea was is just as important. It wasn’t just about getting rid of our mortgage. It was about freeing up that $3,000+ per month for ministry.  Instead of sending that money to our lender, we would have it to spend in ministries in our community, in our area and in the world.


“Imagine what $3,000 a month could do.”  That was the excitement and that was the hope. I was stunned when we opened the envelopes in our worship service on September 17, 2018.  We had a mortgage of $365,000 and we received pledges of $432,000.


We had pledged $67,000 more than the balance of the mortgage. All along, it has been more about the Word calling us to be in mission in the world from the outset than it was about our mortgage, and more about our faith than our finances.


We embarked on a three-year campaign, but less than a year later, on August 19, 2018, we rejoiced at the news that our mortgage balance had dropped below $100,000.  In 11 months we had reduced our burden by almost three-fourths because of our timely mortgage payments and capital campaign contributions.


The mortgage was not what was driving us.  We were already seeing ways we could be in ministry and we were leaning into that call.  We were impatient to get to the hard stuff of transforming our world and that vision was transforming our church, changing us, bringing light into our community.


Well, last Wednesday, you stunned me again.  Mary Bolhuis, our capital campaign coordinator came into my office, shut the door and sat down across the desk from me.  She looked at the floor and shook her head.  She looked up and said, “Some very generous people have stepped forward.  The mortgage is almost paid, done, and gone.”


What she said without saying it was that we can already feel what it would be like to be free from the fetters of debt. One less check we need to write each month.  There is more we can do – together – as we continue to grow into the Word and go into the world.


As of September 30, 2018, total campaign pledges are now $433,533.93 (that number has grown, too!), total giving received totaled $324,683.74, and giving still anticipated is $108, 850.19. The balance due on the mortgage is now down to $17,000.


We are in sight of the day when every dollar received can go into strengthening existing ministries and giving birth to ones.  Your sacrificial giving has always been about ministry and hope, and every gift brightens hope everywhere in Bigfork, in the Flathead and in the world.


Thanking you for keeping the faith as we continue our journey together into the Word and into the world.


Onward and upward,