October 26, 2020

Dear Southminster Family & Friends,

We hope that you and your family are healthy and safe. We are looking forward to a better and brighter 2021 for all of us. The 12-person Pastor Nominating Community is hard at work and we anticipate a new Senior Pastor to join us in early 2021.  These are exciting times!

How our lives have changed since last March. Thank you for your continuing support of Southminster. We appreciate your participation and willingness to grow and change in this complex time.  We believe that even in the midst of uncertainty and change, abundance and opportunity can occur.

While we cannot physically meet together yet for worship on Sundays, we do give thanks for video conferencing and our technology team. Live video conferencing has allowed our Sunday worship service and other programs to stream directly into the safety of your homes or even on the road, allowing us to see and interact with one another even from as far away as Wisconsin and Mexico.  Our wonderful Southminster Sunday Services are available to all live, recorded or to read in print.

Southminster is Active!

Here some of the ways our pastor and congregants of Southminster are keeping us together as a spiritually community (virtually or safely in person) this year: 

  • Sunday Worship with Sermon, Music, Communion, Prayer, Connection
  • Visits with the Pastor, Adult Education and Interfaith Connections
  • Family Life Ministries and Activities for Children & Youth & the whole Community
  • Women’s Retreat, Small Groups for Men and Women, Celebration of Creativity
  • Family Promise, Youth and Adult mission trips and the Southminster Foundation
  • An Amazing Staff and a plan to fill vacancies after the Senior Pastor arrives
  • Wine on Wednesday, Several Book Groups and Mariner’s Dinners and so much more…

2021 Stewardship Campaign: All In!

This November begins our annual stewardship campaign at Southminster. Our stewardship theme this year is “All In!”.  Southminster has a long history of being “All In!”.  What does “All In!” mean now? Pastor Don and others will be focusing on this every Sunday during the month of November.

  • Sunday, November 1—All In! Campaign. Focus: Mission and Outreach. Rev. Don Ludwig preaches a sermon entitled “Giving Away the Borders of your Life” from Leviticus 19: 9-18.
  • Sunday, November 8—All In! Campaign.  Focus: Earth Care and Climate Change.  Wayne Potter preaches a sermon entitled “How will I respond to the waitperson?” drawing from his experience at the “American Climate Leadership Summit” this past August.
  • Sunday, November 15— All In! Campaign.  Focus: Family and Community Life.  Rev. Don Ludwig preaches a sermon entitled “How are You?…I am Blessed…” from Luke 6:17-26.
  • Sunday, November 22—Celebration of All In! Stewardship campaign.  Rev. Don Ludwig preaches a sermon entitled “It’s Not Over…” from Acts 2:14-21.

We encourage you to give thoughtful consideration as to how much you will pledge to the church during the 2021 year.

Your pledge helps create Southminster’s 2021 budget.  Budgeting is never an easy process and the issues connected with COVID-19 have made approaching 2021 the most challenging budget that we, in our collective years, can remember.

For our 2021 budget year we are asking you to maintain your pledge from 2020. We believe that with a stable budget going into the new year, we can continue to move Southminster forward.  The pledged and budgeted revenue for 2020 was $300,000.  We are asking our congregation to maintain at least this same amount for 2021. 

Why should I pledge and how much should I pledge?

There are two reasons why making a commitment to the church is important. First, our Session needs to have an idea of where we are financially so we can make our budget for the coming year. We base our budget on these commitments. Second, making a commitment is part of our own spiritual growth. Some people make a commitment based on a percentage of their income. We have no rule regarding that, of course, but we do recommend the principle of tithing proportional to one’s income. Some people decide to give a certain percentage to causes they believe in, say ten percent. For example, they may give five percent to their local congregation and five percent to other important causes.

We mention tithing to stress the importance of the church in our lives. The church’s operation depends upon the expectation that its members will consider it to be a vital part of their lives and will support it accordingly. A faith community, like a marriage or relationship, a job, even our health, can be, if we are not careful, taken for granted. The church is not its minister, its building, or any single member, or even all of the members. It is a gift from God.  

This discipline of giving feels good, even as it is sacrificial. We are giving something back, or more precisely, giving forward. Making a commitment actually helps to relieve our stress about giving. When we decide in advance what we want to give, we can budget for it and give it as we might pay a monthly bill. But it is much better than paying a bill! We know that it is an investment that reflects our heart. 

Timeline

The stewardship campaign this year is November 1-22 (four Sundays). You have three ways to pledge:

  1. If you received a hard-copy of the Stewardship letter in the mail, you can mail back your completed pledge form to Southminster Presbyterian Church. Please mail your pledge card before November 22nd.
  2. If you received an email copy of the Stewardship letter, you can pledge online by clicking here.
  3. You may email your pledge to Dona Lehr, Keeper of the Pledges, with “Southminster Pledge” in the subject line.

This will enable the Trustees and Session to balance the budget with the pledges received and to advise the leadership teams of our ministries, the members of our community of faith, and our staff of the funds available for their programs before the first of next year.

Trustees and members of the Session are available to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.

We are sincerely grateful for your generous support of Southminster during this extraordinary time.

Trustees: Rick Collins, Pam Brown, Ron Lehr

Note:  If you contribute to a Donor Advised Fund (DAF), and you plan to request that a grant be made from the DAF to Southminster, we would appreciate knowing this in advance for budgeting purposes. Please contact our Keeper of the Pledges, Dona Lehr, if this applies to you.