Hello Church Family,
I hope your day is going well! Easter is coming up soon so I wanted to write and let you know about something special we’re doing this Easter. A few weeks ago we tried something crazy and decided to give away our entire offering on an Easter Sunday for the purpose of blessing the city of Abilene.
We selected four different non-profit organizations in the city of Abilene. After receiving our offering, we split it into fourths and sent considerably large checks to each of those organizations. We raised over $21,000! It was a really incredible day. Here’s a video of me explaining the Easter Offering during the 2015 Easter Sunday sermon.
Two Easter Sundays have gone by now and we haven’t done that type of thing since. In 2016 we started the Multiply Offering and used those monies to help us get rid of our church debt. Then, in 2017 we leveraged the Multiply Offering for the Bless The West project. One of these things is not some how better or worse than the other. All of those offerings were done to advance our 2020 Vision of multiplying disciples, blessing our city, planting churches and sending missionaries.
However, 2018 is affording us a unique opportunity to bless our city and I’d like you to consider giving to the Easter Offering so that we can make it happen. This year, our Easter Offering won’ just go to support four different non-profit organizations in our city. All of the monies raised will go to support ONE organization and ONE particular project.
You might’ve already read in the news about the full-time chaplaincy position for the Abilene Police Department. If not, you can read this article about what a police chaplain does and why a position like that is important for our city. You can also watch a clip from KTAB news on the project and why it’s important.
Because of the generosity of some other churches in Abilene, Beth Reeves has just been brought on as a full time chaplain for the APD. You can read the press release here. But the position hasn’t yet been fully funded and I’d like challenge you to join us in making that possible.
The reason I believe this project fits within our 2020 Vision to bless our city is because a police chaplain is able to minister to families when they’re at their lowest. Victims of violent crime and other tragedies desperately need to experience the love and compassion of Jesus after such trauma. Often times, these victims have no church home or any Christian community to support them through the crisis.
One thing that IS present is the Abilene Police Department. The problem is that police officers are trained to deal with crime and investigations. When they’re on the scene that’s their focus. Wouldn’t it be great if there was another person on the scene who’s sole intention was to minister to the families while the police investigated the crime and restored justice?
There are countless churches and parachurch organizations in the city of Abilene that could help these victims through their trauma. But somebody needs to be there to connect them so that the right kind of help can be received at the right time. A police chaplain would be able to connect those dots and walk with those victims through their pain and suffering.
I think it’s a great thing and I’m so glad the city council approved the position. I also think it’s really cool for the city of Abilene to see CHURCHES come together and fund the position. On the one hand it shows that the churches in Abilene are generous with the money they’ve been given to steward. But, more importantly, it demonstrates to our city that many churches in Abilene actually love and want to serve the city in which they live. That’s a good testimony for the church to have.
When people hear the word church they’re going to have SOMETHING come to their mind. Isn’t it great that for a handful of people in our city, the words that’ll come to their mind are things like generous, compassionate and ready to bless the city? I’m proud we get to play a part in this process. I asked Police Chief Stan Standridge to share a bit about the position and speak to our church directly. You can watch his response on Sunday morning.
We will also play the video on Easter Sunday. If you’d like to give to the Easter Offering you can do so on our website now. You can give in person on Easter Sunday or you can mail us your check with “Easter Offering” on the memo. We’re not going to make this offering available indefinitely. If you’d like to act on it, you’ll need to act soon. I’m confident that between us and the other churches who’ve partnered together to make this happen, this chaplaincy position will be fully funded for the next three years.
If you’re ready to give now you can go ahead and do that. You’ll see the Easter Offering when you give online. The reason I’m writing you today is so that you’ll have time to think about it and pray through what God would have you to give. Come ready on Easter Sunday to join with the rest of your church family in blessing our city through an act of financial generosity. Let’s bless the Abilene Police Department and serve those who’ve so faithfully served and protected us over the years.
I hope you have a great rest of your week. If there’s anyway I can pray for you, please let me know!
With you in the journey,