Embracing Jesus | Loving one another | Joining God
in redeeming our world
Set your calendars for Sunday, December 8th.
We will hold our annual meeting immediately after our time of worship.
Schedule for Sunday, December 8th:
10:00-10:45am Time of Worship 11:00-11:45am Annual Meeting
"Is the Lord's hand too short?"
Remember when you were a kid and someone took something that belonged to you? Or maybe this just happened yesterday! What did you do? Who did you call upon? Just last night my younger son was saving the best bite of his dessert for last. Like the gooey middle of a brownie or the center of a cinnamon roll, the cookie crust of his holiday pie awaited his tastebuds. In one swift move, my older son hovered, snatched, swallowed and disappeared to another part of the house. With tears in his eyes, my younger son looked to me. The one question at that moment: "Is my hand too short?"
In times of trouble we come to discover what we look to for comfort and who we call upon for help. We also come to find out just how much we believe about that entity's power, presence and ability. In the early days of God's chosen family, the people of Israel, we find a band of former prisoners who had seen the outstretched arm of God perform unparalleled acts of power and deliverance, commanding authority over life itself. As this people now moved further from Egypt and closer to their promised homeland a grumbling swept through the camp...a hankering for meat. It wasn't just that they wanted meat, but all of a sudden their enslavement didn't look so bad. That old, proverbial grass had since greened a bit from this new side of the fence because they now began to say life was better in slavery and servitude under an oppressive dictator than in freedom and blessing of the Almighty God. "We want meat, to eat!"
Moses was upset. God was upset.
But Moses approached God saying, "How can I find enough meat for this many people?" Remember Philip standing before Jesus with the multitude of people surrounding them? Jesus had just told Philip to feed thousands of hungry bellies and Philip looked at the change in his pockets and the lack of power in his hands with utter self-doubt. Was there one in the midst who could provide? If you're attempting to take something down from the top shelf and you don't have a ladder or a step-stool, who do you ask? The short hand? Or Go-Go-Gadget? "Is the Lord's hand too short?"
The Lord stopped Moses in his self wallowing with a question, "Is the Lord's hand too short?" It is in times of trouble that we come to discover what we look to for comfort and who we call upon for help. Moses looked to himself. Philip looked to himself. As a husband, a father, and, yes, even a pastor, I must admit that when I am in a deficit and entrenched by crisis I all too often look to myself. Can I learn the lesson from my son? My son looked to himself for only a moment, and experienced helplessness. He then he looked to me to act in the authority he knew only his father possessed. Like him, will I shift my eyes from my self-helplessness to my heavenly Father? How will he provide? How will he rescue? How will he resolve? The King of all kings, the Beginning and the End, awaits with one question: "Is my hand too short?"
In the end, God provided more than enough meat for Moses and Israel. In the end, God provided more than enough bread and fish for Philip and the ginormous crowd. As I look to believe God in my current situation, how long will his outstretched arm reach? How much will I decrease in my mind's eye and allow the Origin of Life to increase? Will my situation end any different?
I'm not going to dismiss the current threat upon our church organization. As you will see below, the short-term solution is increased income (aka. giving or tithing). But keep in mind that the long-term solution goes well beyond money to our increased reliance upon the Lord and our obedient effort of joining Jesus on his mission to help the people we encounter on a daily or weekly basis embrace him, love one another like he has loved us and also help them learn to join Jesus in this life-redeeming work.
Thankfully, like Moses and Philip, we have a God-sized problem. And thus we need a God-sized solution. Will you join me in regularly praying for our church family? Let's answer the Lord's question together with a resounding "no". No, Lord, your arm is not too short. But I have shortened it in my self-elevation and disbelief. I am sorry. And now? Now we wait together to see whether or not what God says will come true.
Together with you until Christ is formed in us,
2019 Financial Snapshot
IMPORTANT FINANCIAL INFORMATION AND IMPACT
As our 2019 calendar year comes to an end we look to set our spending boundaries for 2020. Uniquely, our actual annual income from 2019 closes the year in a budget deficit. The implications call for a drastic spending freeze of our non-fixed expenses, as well as a gut wrenching decrease from a few of our fixed expenses. Our Leadership Team is proposing a "Continuing Resolution" for the 2020 calendar year. Here is what that means:
What is a continuing resolution? Typically used within a government budgeting conversation, a continuing resolution basically sidesteps the larger annual budget to set spending at a more practical level, given a particular financial climate and deficit. A new level of spending, or resolution, is set per program for a specified period of time. When the period of time is fulfilled the leaders meet again to vote on a return to the actual budget or a continuing of the resolution in place for another agreed upon period of time.
What is Crossroads' continuing resolution? Given our particular financial climate and deficit, our leadership team is proposing three parts to our 2020 Budget:
OUR GOAL BUDGET: set at $129,000, this goal budget is a barebones amount that allows our organization to function in basic form with both fixed and non-fixed costs. This budget is our overall target that is most desirable at this time. Non-fixed categories include benevolence, maintenance (church building and parsonage), trash (dumpster) and ministry programs (childrens and worship). An average monthly "income" of $10,750 is necessary to meet this goal. This is our target and we will continue to aim for this amount.
A FIXED-COSTS BUDGET: set at $117,705, this budget eliminates all non-fixed costs to non-contractual obligations. Fixed categories include overhead expenses (C&MA), pastoral salary package, church facility (rent and utilities), parsonage (mortgage and utilities) and Great Commission Fund (tithe supporting missionaries around the globe). An average monthly "income" of $9,809 is necessary to meet this goal. This is less than our target but will allow our base of operation to continue until we return to our targeted budget amount.
A CURRENT TRAJECTORY BUDGET: set at $107,000 (our 2019 projected income), this budget further hones in on our Fixed-Costs Budget and finds the least contractual elements (non-legally binding) and begins to cut away. Least contractual elements include Great Commission Fund giving (tithe) and our pastoral salary package. Should this route be taken both tithe and a portion of the pastoral salary package will be zeroed out and the pastoral salary will be reduced by around 21%. The current average monthly "income" is $8,916. This is not our ideal and we will only take this route if necessary.
We will look to pass a continuing resolution at our annual meeting (December 8) to seek agreement on our overall budget (goal), our current levels of spending (reality) and to establish a quarterly timeframe for a servant members to meet again, review the financial landscape and vote again on proposed next steps by our leadership team. It is our prayer this deficit is resolved in quick order and we are able to return to normal operations at full budget capacity. Our savings will only temporarily buffer some deficit. Should we continue at the current financial trajectory our savings will be depleted in August 2020.
Please click below to find the 2020 Budget Proposal (.pdf file), which includes a side-by-side comparison of the three categories listed above.
Your Crossroads Leadership Team
*NOTE: Non-fixed costs appear RED and fixed costs to be reduced appear GREEN on 2020 Budget Proposal.pdf
FORECAST: ZERO BALANCE AUGUST 2020 At current trends (operating at fixed expenses with current average monthly income)
COFFEE WITH THE TREASURER
Saturday, December 7
@ 38 E. Main St, Vernon
On Saturday, December 7, from 8:00-10:00am at our Crossroads' facility, Seth Naphen (C3 Treasurer) will host our annual "Coffee with the Treasurer". This annual open forum is designed for any from our Crossroads family to come for coffee and discuss ANYTHING related to our budget and finances prior to the annual meeting. Please contact Seth for details at email@example.com