M-Note 11.9.2021

7 Pro Tips To Being Open

by Matt Miofsky
The Gathering has always been a church that is OPEN to new ministries that reach new people - to a future that looks different than our present. We could continue to do what we are currently doing, but we believe God is calling us to make specific investments in ministries focusing on new generations, invitation of new people, innovation, and care and transformation. I explained each of these areas in the message from last week. If you missed it, I encourage you to listen to it here. You can also read more about these new ministries in the Companion Guide.

This is the final week of our OPEN series, and I hope that you will be a part of it. I have put together some answers to questions you may still have.

1. Why should I fill out a card for a 2-year commitment, and what if my financial situation changes?
The commitment card is a way for us to stop and intentionally consider (or reconsider) what God has given us and how we are called to use it. Many of us who already give don’t always take time to reexamine our giving. The card is a way for us to be thoughtful and prayerful about the practice of generosity in our lives. Additionally, since 99% of the church’s work is made possible by the giving of the congregation, your commitment helps our church to better plan for future ministry. If your financial situation changes in the next two years, you can revise your commitment at any time.

2. What is meant by One Fund, and what is included in my commitment?
A One Fund simply means that we are asking you to make a commitment for all of your giving for the next two years. This includes what you currently give on a regular basis, plus any additional amount you’d like to give on a regular basis, your Easter and Christmas offering, and any stored resource gift that you want to commit. The commitment card walks you through each of these steps.
3. What is a stored resource?
Many of us have resources that are not part of our annual income. Investments, savings, and material possessions are all resources that many of us have. Sometimes the greatest gifts we make come from these resources that we are holding on to, but that we could use more faithfully. In the past, some people have sold a car or boat, household items they no longer use, land, or other resources in order to make a special gift that can impact others.

4. How is money spent at The Gathering?
Each year, The Gathering publishes an Impact Report that outlines how money at The Gathering is used and the difference it makes in the lives of people. You can check out our Impact Report for 2020 on our website including how all offerings were used last year. Looking ahead to the next two years, we outlined on page 17 of our OPEN Companion Guide how we intend to allocate resources.
5. What is going to happen during the last week of OPEN?
This final weekend is going to be a powerful worship service. I am going to talk about the power of a community coming together and saying “yes” to God’s call. We are going to hear some really cool testimonies from people in our church. The message will end with a time for you to come forward, turn in a commitment card, and pray for our church. I encourage you to prepare by looking over the card (on page 63 of the Companion Guide), praying about what God has done in your life, and how God is calling you to give. If you have a family, talk with them about it. There will be extra cards in worship and an online card that you can fill out.
6. When do I start giving towards my commitment?
 Although people will be turning in their commitment cards starting this weekend, the first offering toward our OPEN commitment will be on December 5 and run for two years.
7. How can I set up or change my online giving?
We encourage everyone to set up an automatic and regular way to give online. This helps the church plan and use resources the most effectively. The best way to do this is through your bank’s online bill pay feature or by setting up a recurring gift through The Gathering. If you currently give regularly through tithley, here are instructions for how to update or change your automated giving. You can also give stocks, CDS, and mutual funds to The Gathering. There can be significant tax savings by giving this way. If you want to learn more about how to give in this way, please contact dave.dietrich@gatheringnow.org.

The Gathering has always been a generous congregation. Thank you for remaining open to how God can use our church to change lives. I am excited about the future and a firm confidence that God is not finished with us yet. I will see you this weekend in worship.
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