December 2018 Diaconal Report

Here are a couple of updates on TPC Diaconal ministries.  Operation Christmas Child was a success. Thanks to Chip and Sally Bray for coordinating it and thank all who participated in Operation Christmas Child this year. We sent out 27 shoe boxes this year to needy children around the world in the name of our Savior!

Earlier in the Fall the Deacons reached out to a couple of missionaries TPC supports to see if they had any needs this Christmas. I thought the request might come back for toys or clothes, but Aaron & Rachel Halbert who serve in Honduras asked if we could send them Christian books!  They are trying to build their church library and their members have a desire to learn more about their faith. Originally, we were planning on sending some books in the Spring of 2019, but it just so happens that we have two TPC members who are planning on travelling to Honduras right after Christmas. Please call or email Emily Kochetta or John Godbee if you would like to purchase a book/s for the Gracia Soberana Presbyterian Church library. We are on a tight deadline, so don’t delay if you are interested.

God has blessed us with very nice church facilities. John Quattlebaum and the Deacons keep a running list of needed repairs and maintenance for our campus. Whether you are skilled in plumbing, housekeeping, painting or landscaping, we can put your talents to use. Please let a deacon know if you would like to help.

If you know or hear of a need within our church family whether it’s a meal during an illness or help with transportation needs, please let a deacon, your Fellowship Group or your Sunday School Class know. As we have been so aptly taught, we should be about “one anothering each other”.

Below is a summary of our church finances. Most of you have heard about our financial shortfall this year. Please be in prayer that God would give us wisdom in planning our 2019 budget and also that He would supply our financial needs to continue the various ministries that TPC supports. We do thank God for his great blessings upon our Church Family and wish you peace and joy during this Christmas Season. 

Financial Summary                        October                                 YTD

Tithes and offerings                       $31,898                                 $371,719

Expected T & O                               40,000                                  412,000

Expenses                                           45,291                                   469,263

Budgeted Expenses                        53,023                                   499,798

The leadership of the church recognized in 2017 that we were having a contraction in both membership and gifts to the church.  We budgeted money from reserves to cover the difference.  While we had hoped that things would turn around in 2018, we are saddened to report that the decline has continued; TPC has received significantly less in giving than in 2017 which was less than in 2016.

We have begun cutting our expenditures.  The decision was made to not replace Jeff Windt, but to hire a part-time youth intern in place of an ordained pastor.  We are forgoing any unnecessary projects and reducing the frequency of some functions and programs.  We have not missed any payments or payrolls mainly because of God’s generous provision of gifts in years past.  Please pray for the Session and Diaconate as we contemplate what to cut next.  Reduction in our support of PCA and Presbytery ministries, ministers to foreign lands and even local personnel would be painful, but may be necessary. 

We still hope that God will prosper His people and bless us with a spirit of generosity. If you have opportunity to give more to this local body, please consider the need.  If you have never seriously considered arranging your personal budget to include a tithe to this local body of Christ, please read Malachi 3:10.

As Pastor Barnes has said many times, the real solution to this problem is more people coming to know Christ and then joining, more families worshiping God in Spirit and Truth at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Statesboro.  Please be diligent to pray towards that end and doing your part to invite and assimilate new people.  To God be the glory!  He is able to do abundantly more than we ask or think.