802 12th St

Marion, IA 52302

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Weekly Contact- March 13, 2014

Hello there,

A lot of you mentioned how much you enjoyed the drawing that John Foster did during the Ash Wednesday service.  This all began because John likes to “doodle” during the sermons.  John always shows me his sketches, and that inspired me to ask him to share his talent with everyone.

I completely understand how John feels.  I find I can listen better to a speaker if I have paper and a writing utensil in my hands.  Others have said they are the same way.  Doing something with your hands aids in concentration.  So we have set aside a space to allow for such self-expression.  Across the hall from Pastor Beth’s office, we have cleared off the bulletin board beside the drinking fountain.  If you doodle during the sermon, please share with the rest of us.  Tack your up your “artistic” expressions on that bulletin board.  All contributions are welcome.  It doesn’t matter your age or skill.  We would like to see it. Sign it if you like or be anonymous.  We would like to know the date so we can see how things progress over time.  It will be interesting to see how this develops.

This week is “Gifts of Women” Sunday.  We have a women’s chorale that has prepared a beautiful anthem.  Pastor Beth and other women from our congregation will be leading in worship.  The text will be Genesis 12:1-4b and we will be keeping with our “Give it up for Lent” theme.  This week it is giving up your comfort zone.

Finally, Charley Knudsen and Jim Bochstahler did an excellent job last Sunday bringing us up to date on our financial situation.  If you missed their presentations, here is a synopsis:

To start off with – Cash flow to date is good, but this is usually the case early in the year, and the church is operating on a negative budget of – $15,183 for 2014.  However, considering that the church has somewhere around 170 pledging units this year that $15,183 would translate into an additional $89.31 this year or $7.45 a month or $1.72 a week per unit and the deficit could be eliminated.  The church finance committee understands that there are limited funds in everyone’s budget but if you are having a good month and can spare a couple of extra dollars over your normal pledge it really wouldn’t take us long to cover this year’s deficit.

An item of concern with our budget is snow removal. As you should be aware of, this winter has required a greater than normal amount of snow removal and as a result the costs of doing so are exceeding that which was budgeted for.  In 2013 the church spent $3,448 for the full year for snow and yard care.   So we budgeted $4,000 for this item in 2014. After 2 months we have already spent $3,303 (this was for Dec 2013 and Jan 2014) and we know February was also not a good month.  If you would like to make a donation specifically to help with this it would also be appreciated.

Finally we cannot forget Per Capita.  This is what we pay to the Presbytery, Synod and National offices to support our denomination, the Presbyterian Church (USA).  Per Capita in 2014 is $34.02 per member. Based on 500 members this totals $17,010 for our church this year.   Through February the church has received $2,596 towards this amount.  If all active members would contribute towards their Per Capita apportionment, this would make a huge difference in our financial situation.  Remember it is for all active members, so if you have teenagers who have been confirmed, they are on our rolls.

Stay in One Peace!

Howard

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