Come worship with us at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays

2515 Central Park Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201
(847) 869-9210

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2021 Pledge Appeal Message

October 10, 2020

Peace be with you-

This year’s Stewardship theme of “Being Christ’s Church Beyond Walls” is inspired by the three following bible passages:

1 Peter 5: 4-5
Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Matthew 5:14-16
“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

1 Corinthians 12:27
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

It seems right to contemplate our church’s existence and its purpose beyond the walls on Central Park Avenue as the pandemic limits access to those facilities. Metaphorically, we are each a stone in the house of God. The light from that house continues to shine and to bring comfort well beyond the walls of our sanctuary. It may feel like our ministry is hampered by the challenges we face in worship this year, but we have adapted well, and we continue to lovingly meet the needs of the congregation. We have shown faith through these hard times by continuing to engage and share the good news amongst ourselves and with our neighbors. Times may feel dark, but the light of our savior still shines brightly as we ably serve our wider communities with joy. We are a fortunate group of people and have shown resolve by honoring our commitments to our staff and to our mission partners as they too struggle. We have not simply “circled the wagons” but have found new ways to join in fellowship and to help those in difficult circumstances. We have even started new initiatives in response to the changes in our world. We have made prudent cuts to expenses and the budget for next year is flat compared to this year. The Capital Campaign is on hold, although some urgent works are being completed while the building is empty, using funds already donated.

Stewardship continues, just as the needs of our congregation and the needs of the communities in which we serve continue. Worship has changed and there are aspects that we all miss. It will be glorious to return to live worship, to hear the choir sing in full voice, and to pass the peace with friends. But there are aspects of these difficult trials that should lead to long-lasting changes for the better. For example, we are more equipped for media outreach and will continue to bring services to people where they are. Our values have not changed; we still prioritize worship, spiritual direction, faith community, and outreach both locally and to the world. Continued commitment to stewardship is critical at this point. Pledging is crucial because it allows us a measure of certainty during these uncertain times. Pledging for 2021 and fulfilling your 2020 pledge gives the church the capacity to act faithfully even as we are surrounded by insecurity. Please join in prayer as we discern what we are called to do individually and as a group in 2021. Then consider what you might generously offer in through financial support and by volunteering.

We have enclosed a pledge slip for this season’s Stewardship campaign and a return envelope for your convenience. To aid in our planning, we ask that you turn it in as soon as possible. All pledges received in advance will be combined with those received by mail, or those that are dropped off between 10:45 a.m. and noon on Commitment Sunday, November 8th, when we will pre-dedicate our financial and time commitments as a united congregation in our streamed worship service on Facebook and YouTube. Please contact a member of the Stewardship Committee with any questions you may have.

Yours in Christ,
Bruce Caughran

Northminster Stewardship Chair
Bruce Caughran