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From Our Hill

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FOH October 31, 2014      

Dear Friends,

     I want to touch on a few very important topics.  Thanks for your weekly attention to From Our Hill.  It is clear to me that this newsletter remains an important lifeline and source of information about Calvary’s ministries.
Of course, this weekend is the end of Daylight Savings Time and we all get to fall back one hour on Saturday night; but far more importantly, November 2 is All Saints Sunday.  This is the day each November when Christians pause to recall faithful followers of Jesus who have died in the last year.  At both of Calvary’s worship services on Sunday (8:15 AM and 10:30 AM), we will lift up the fifteen saints from among Calvary’s membership who have died since last All Saints Sunday.  Personally, this is one of the most meaningful and powerful days in the Christian calendar; it is the day we remember to claim that the love of Christ is more powerful even than death, binding all of God’s people, the living and the dead, in one great cloud of witnesses.  I am eager to celebrate this Sunday with you.

     Also this Sunday, our Communion offering will be designated to the Jeff Johnson Scholarship Fund.  Annually, this fund allows Calvary to offer scholarship support to many of our members working on degrees in college or graduate school.  Our yearly offering helps the Johnson Scholarship endowment to grow, expanding the award amounts and the number of students we are able to bless through it.

     Another way that Calvary ministers to the community is through our Pastor’s Fund.  This is the benevolence fund that allows Calvary’s ministerial staff to respond to urgent needs, usually outside of the congregation though occasionally within the church’s membership, too.  In 2014 so far, we have disbursed nearly $10,500 in aid such as Kroger cards, rent assistance, utility and medical bill assistance, bus passes, etc…, just through the Pastor’s Fund.  We keep careful and confidential records of help given.  At this time the Pastor’s Fund is utterly depleted.  This Sunday, some of you may wish to give an additional offering specifically to the Pastor’s Fund.  You can give electronically now at www.calvaryumc.com/giving and note “Pastor’s Fund” in the memo space.  Each day, numerous people visit or call Calvary seeking assistance; your generosity helps us say yes.

     Finally, speaking of generosity, I want to thank and encourage you.  The latest update to Calvary’s 2015 Stewardship Emphasis reveals 168 Estimate of Giving cards received, totaling $918,922!  This is wonderful progress.  Recent years suggest that we may expect to receive at least 200 total Estimates of Giving, and possibly up to 220.  Thank you for helping Calvary’s leadership look ahead to ministry next year with confidence and hope.  If you have not yet had a chance to offer a 2015 Estimate of Giving Card but intend to, the form is available in this newsletter.  Or, if it is more convenient, please contact Calvary’s financial administrator Melinda Grigsby via email, melinda@calvaryumc.com, or by phone at the office number, 615-297-7562.  Thank you for helping Calvary carry out our mission to worship God, follow Jesus, love you, and serve all!

Peace,
Pastor Bryan Brooks