1. GOD’S WORD.  “(Your gifts) are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.  And my God will provide all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus”  (Philippians 4:19).  This beautiful passage from Paul to the Philippians addresses his financial needs and their needs, especially in regards to kingdom work.  Don’t forget it!
  2. GREAT NEWS.  Because you gave faithfully all year long and because some gave extra during March, we exceeded our budget needs for the fiscal year ending March 31.  Thank you!
  3. CASH POSITION.  Again, it’s a big “Thank you!”  Due to generous giving and careful management of resources, we are stable at the moment.  I often remind people that a church is 100% dependent on voluntary donations, and if NOBODY gave we would have to close our doors in a short period of time.  However, we are not there.  Corinth is in a position to weather a few months of decreased giving if necessary.
  4. NEW FISCAL YEAR.  On Sunday, March 29, members of Corinth overwhelmingly approved a new budget for the fiscal year that begins April 1.  Other than delaying staff salary raises (2%), the Consistory had unanimously voted to ask the congregation to approve the budget as distributed, but they have asked boards and staff to delay or eliminate all spending not essential to our operation.  We would, however, like to continue funding our mission partners as we are able.
  5. GIVING.  Especially in this environment, we need different messages about giving.   Please ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern which message fits you.
    • STIMULUS.  The federal government will soon be sending checks to most Americans.  Spend it on your needs if you have them.  Bank it if you think you may become vulnerable in a month or two.  If neither of those is the case, consider donating it to Corinth, designated for “Good Samaritan Fund,” so we can be in a position to help those in greatest financial need – both in the church family and in the community.  Also consider giving the stimulus check to other missions and agencies helping those most vulnerable.
    • REVERSE GIVING.  If you find yourself in a particularly vulnerable financial position in regards to food or home or utilities, you may need to STOP GIVING to Corinth and let us give to you.  If family or others can help, ask them, but don’t drive yourself into credit card or consumer debt.  Lay down your pride and let me know if we can help our church body get through this.  We may not be able to grant every request, but as God provides we will do what we can.
    • DECREASE GIVING.  If your income has decreased or been eliminated, and you need your pastor’s permission to alleviate the guilt, this is it.  GIVE LESS until things stabilize.
    • KEEP GIVING.  If you are able to keep paying your bills, don’t hoard your resources out of fear.  TRUST GOD and keep giving at the level you were.
    • RAISE GIVING.  If you can, now may be the time to GIVE MORE.  Linda and I not only have unchanged income for now, we also just finished a 36-month pledge to the Corinth Legacy capital campaign.  We’ll add that gift to our ongoing gifts to the General Fund.  When you start obsessing over your balance sheet or luxuries or retirement, read and ponder Matthew 6:32-34.  If you are in a position to do so, help make up for others who can’t give.
  6. FINAL REMINDERS.
    • We will never bill you or remind you individually about giving to the General Fund, because we don’t do pledges for General Fund.  We teach tithing and stewardship as it comes up in Scripture, but we trust God to help you give cheerfully as you are able.
    • To donate while keeping your social distance, you can still (1) drop by the church office during office hours, (2) mail a check to CRC, 150 Sixteenth Ave NW, Hickory, NC 28601, (3) give online at corinthtoday.org/give, or (4) text “Corinth” to 73256.
    • In all this, remember that in the area of finances God is calling us to GRATITUDE, TRUST, and PRAYER.  “Great is Thy faithfulness.”

Pastor Bob Thompson