Our lives, our ministry together

2018 has been a wonderful and significant year in the life of St. Armands Key Lutheran Church. Not only was it my first full year as pastor, it was also the year in which we celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the formation of congregation, called Kim Heindl as our Deacon, said farewell to Pam Becker after many years of dedicated service, reorganized the office through the hiring of two part-time staff, brought on board Michael Bodnyk as our first Minister of Music, and presented a vision framework that is nothing short of a call to discipleship!

Excitement is growing as we live in to the new ministry vision, and as people see the benefits of the restructuring of staff and ministry teams. In addition, we are now blessed with staff to help us grow into our mission, but this has not been met with an anticipated increase in general giving. Therefore, we are approaching year end with a significant deficit. General giving funds ministries, insurance, repairs and maintenance, payroll, teaching materials, fellowship hours, and so forth. It is the financial lifeblood of our life here together as St. Armands Key Lutheran Church, as it enables and empowers mission and ministry. Therefore, a significant increase in general giving is needed in 2019 if our vision is to become a reality, and if we are to continue to be the congregation that I am convinced God wills us to be – now and into the future!

Someone said to me the other day, “You know, I’ve just celebrated a birthday that ends with a “0.” Makes me think about how I’ve changed as a person, since my last “0” birthday. I’m not the same person I was; I’m different, I’ve grown as a man, a father, a husband” Well, my sisters and brothers in Christ, SAKLC grows, develops, and changes too; yet, I am told that SAKLC’s budget has remained largely unchanged for around ten years! Little wonder then that reorganization, restructuring and the development of ministries have impacted our bottom line. It is true that SAKLC folks never fail to contribute generously to special appeals. However, if general giving – from which a significant proportion of our expenses are funded – does not increase, we will be unable to grow as a congregation. We are simply unable to march faithfully into God’s future with the same budget that we had a decade ago.

To close the budget deficit in 2018, and to challenge each and every one of us to give generously in 2019, 6 households have given $56,000 in leadership gifts as of this date. However, such generosity cannot be the long-term solution – only generous, regular giving from all at SAKLC can accomplish that goal.

So, let’s each and every one of us Step Up, celebrate our life and ministry together, and walk boldly and confidently into 2019!
 
Pastor Blyth