"My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46-47)
These words of Mary, which we read in worship this week, remind me of you and how you and our congregation are living out the Gospel message.
First, this letter is one of appreciation. Your gifts to the ministry of Community UMC this year have magnified God in so many ways. A few highlights include:
- Celebrating one full year of our monthly Messy Church worship service, where we are sharing God’s love with children and families.
- Commissioning our Congregational Care Team, a group of lay people who have trained to extend the church’s care to the ill and homebound.
- Our first ever Serve Sunday, where fifty church members worshiped with their hands through service projects supporting our local mission partners.
- Another successful season of hosting the 2nd Harvest Mobile Market in our parking lot. At each event more than three hundred households were blessed with free and nutritious food.
Second, this letter is asking for a year-end gift. We know there are many worthy organizations seeking your support. We hope you will remember Community UMC in your charitable giving this season. Below are two ways you can give at year’s end to support our ministry in Coeur d’Alene and beyond.
The Community Benevolence Fund
Our Community Benevolence Fund is turning one year old on Christmas Eve! This special fund serves vulnerable neighbors through one-time benevolence payments for food, rent, utilities, transportation, clothing, and other incidentals. (continued next page)
One need this year really stood out. D (we are using an initial for privacy) had not had a new mattress in twenty years and could not afford one on her fixed income. When she was diagnosed with cancer and began chemo, her old mattress became very painful to sleep on. Through our Benevolence Fund, we were able to purchase a new mattress for her. D gives thanks to God for the generosity of donors to the Benevolence Fund who made a difficult time a bit more bearable.
Our Christmas Eve offering will go entirely to the Benevolence Fund so we can continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus when our neighbors need emergency financial assistance. You can give to this offering at one of our Christmas Eve services (10 am and 7 pm). You can also give in advance by addressing a check to the church with “Benevolence Fund” as the memo or give online at cdaumc.org/give – choose “Benevolence Fund” from the menu.
The General Fund
The church’s General Fund pays for the day-to-day operations of our ministry. If you have benefited spiritually and relationally from the ministry of Community UMC this year, I invite you to make a special gift to our General Fund. A quarter of the church’s annual income usually comes in December, which means we depend on year-end gifts to help us meet our budget. We are good stewards and strive to use your gifts to extend our ministry beyond our church doors so we can see the kingdom of God manifest in our neighborhood and city. You can give to the General Fund by addressing a check to the church with “General Fund” as the memo or give online at cdaumc.org/give and choose “General Fund.”
Remember the words of Mary? My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. Through your generosity your soul magnifies the Lord. Your spirit buoys my spirit. Thank you for your gifts! And if you cannot give financially, your prayers are a blessing, too.
Wishing you and yours the peace of Christ this Christmas,
Pastor Amanda Nicol
P.S. Don’t forget! We are having Christmas Eve services at 10 am (followed by a Christmas Brunch) and 7 pm. I look forward to seeing you there. Bring family and friends.