June 9, 2018
What a vibrant, life-filled Pentecost we celebrated at Augustana this year! It reminded us of all the gifts we – the church and our community at Augustana – share with the rest of the world. Like the apostles after Pentecost, we have a special message and a special way of being that is sorely needed by our neighbors and society.
For example, while much of society worships and glorifies competition, weeding out the weak, the flawed, and the failed, we bring a message of love and mercy from our ‘failed’ Savior. We look to the Jesus who did not triumph, did not rule as a king but rather lived as a poor, itinerant peasant in a backwater province, was imprisoned by the powerful empire of his time, and executed. This Jesus, our Risen Lord, offers boundless love to us when we fail and are weak. Our flaws are manifest, but the forgiveness and mercy of God is endless.
Augustana is important, our faith community matters, because it is here that we grapple with these issues. At Augustana, we find community, God’s Word, this radical mercy shown to us and, in turn, we share it with others – through our words, our example, our advocacy, and our actions.
Your support is critical to Augustana’s vitality and health. As we have in past summers, we are asking you to consider additional support, beyond your annual pledge. This year, we are calling this our 13th Month – asking members of our community to consider giving a special gift equal to your normal month’s pledge or giving – a thirteenth month of giving.
As you know from our annual meeting, our financial health at Augustana is a mixed picture. The Augustana community is generous and pledging for 2018 was up significantly from the previous year. We also work to bring in income from the community by sharing our building – both ongoing tenants and for special uses. These are very positive and strengths.
But over the past 15 years, we have both acquired debt and funded capital improvements for the building through the congregation’s operating budget. Together, these have created a ‘hole’ in our annual budget.
In response, for 2018, we cut the budget proposal significantly, sometimes painfully. People are pitching in with their volunteer efforts as we continue to seek economies. We also initiated a series of fundraisers to help plug this debt-driven budget gap, like the Mother’s Day fundraiser, beer pairing event, art fair parking, and an upcoming jazz festival wine reception.
To finish the year without a deficit, we need to raise an additional $15,000 and this 13th Month effort is critical. Your support strengthens Augustana for its critical mission of living Christ’s message of love, mercy and forgiveness and proclaiming it to a broken world. If you have any questions, please contact one of the stewardship committee members. Thank you, in advance, for your prayerful support.
The Augustana Stewardship Committee
Carol Albright, Celeste Garrett, Gina Guadarrama, Max Kellogg and Jim Vondracek
To make a 13th Month Pledge, please send an email to email@example.com with your intentions. You can make a special 13th Month Gift online here. There also paper pledge and gift cards in the church narthex, which you can fill out and either turn into the church office or place in the offering plates.