July 6, 2017
Welcome to summer! I hope you’re enjoying a slower pace in some way, maybe spending more time with family or even thumbing through a good book.
I wanted to share with you my thanksgiving for the ways God is using the stewardship dollars so many of you committed last fall to support our church’s mission and ministry.
Through the end of May our members’ pledge payments exceeded our budgeted amount by $96,675. I celebrate that First Presbyterian Church is a generous congregation, and that generosity continues to spill over!
The committed pledges of individuals and families allow us to plan confidently to do many things in Christ’s name:
- feed the hungry
- teach a third grader about the gift of God’s word in Scripture;
- support our partnerships in Haiti and Mexico and Russia;
- provide support for those who are grieving, and
- lift our voices in praise through the gift of music on Sunday morning.
In all areas of our ministry we are doing the work of the Kingdom.
In 2017 one particular area of focus from our stewardship campaign was to respond to a call to support our local teachers. Charlotte Mecklenburg Superintendent Ann Clark challenged the faith community to support the recruitment and/or retention of excellent teachers by providing money to help them with child-care expenses. Superintendent Clark helped us see that too many teachers were choosing to leave the classroom because they could not afford daycare on their salary.
I am happy to report that First Pres stewardship dollars will be used by three teachers, all of whom work at our partner school, Westerly Hills Academy. The need for this help in retaining excellent teachers was so great that principal Malacy Williams decided to grant one teacher a full scholarship and split the second scholarship 50/50 between two additional teachers. One of the recipients teaches second grade literacy. The second recipient teaches second grade math. The third recipient is an instructional coach for six teachers in K-5 literacy.
My gratitude overflows: for your generosity, for God’s faithfulness, and for the ways our church serves as an instrument for grace and healing and good in our community and world.
I look forward to seeing you in worship this summer, and appreciate so much who you are as a member of Christ’s body here on 200 West Trade Street.
– Pen Peery