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2016 End-of-Year Giving Update

November 23 2016
November 23 2016

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Dear Members and Friends,

As 2016 comes to a close, I think many of us are looking forward to the new year in hopes of better things. When considering the world stage, 2016 has not been easy. Militant Islamists continue to strike terror across the Middle East, Africa and portions of Europe. Even here on American soil we must be ever vigilant to negotiate this threat. The country of Ukraine, which is dear to our congregation, fights occupying Russian forces in the eastern portion of the country and small skirmishes take lives almost daily. Back at home, America’s sluggish economy persists and we bear a collective anxiety about whether or not we will slip back into recession. Added to this are racial tensions, higher than they have been in decades, erupting into violence in major cities all over the country. Other challenges could be named too.

Should we have been surprised, then, that this year’s election seemed more heated than any in memory? As a nation, America has typically looked to its President not just to govern, but to guide us to a better, more just and beautiful future. And, of course, our candidates are more than willing to hold up their end of the bargain with the promises they make. At least in this sense, the 2016 election proved no different.

Even so, the level of shrill, rancor and threatening doom expressed regarding the election of this or that candidate and what might or might not happen did seem unique. Now that Donald Trump has become our 45th president-elect, some have breathed a sigh of overwhelming relief. Their candidate won. Others are angry, incredulous that our country elected this man. Some walk the streets in dismay and others in celebration.

As Christians, however, we know that our confidence and hope for the future, especially one filled with the challenges noted above, does not turn upon the revolving door of earthly leaders (or simply with the passing of another year), but upon the fixed cornerstone of the Lord Jesus Christ and the loving power of God, the Father. As the Heidelberg Catechism reminds us, God rules “in fruitful and lean years… [so that] we can be patient when things go against us, thankful when things go well, and for the future we can have good confidence in our faithful God and Father that nothing will separate us from his love.”

Now, this confidence does not translate to passivity or quiet resignation. Absolutely not! Rather, our calling is to courageously, wisely and graciously demonstrate our hope in the Lord and advocate for Christ’s Kingdom in this world. Without this, how will anyone come to know Jesus and experience his liberating reign? Paul writes, “Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person” (Colossians 4:5-6).

Importantly, Paul’s exhortation clarifies Christ’s mission for the church. Rather than wring our hands with anxiety, Christians, armed with Jesus’ grace, are to roll up our sleeves and love our neighbor in word and deed. If you’re newer to Redeemer, this emphasis upon winsome cultural engagement is essential to our mission.

This confidence also explains why we can note an encouraging distinction between Redeemer’s 2016 from that of the world’s. Though 2016 may have been an anxious ridden, violent and disappointing for our world, as a church Redeemer has continued to grow and deepen in almost every way. In attendance, membership, small group participation, diversity of ministry program and more, Redeemer is realizing the vision of being an anchor church for ministry in and for the city of San Antonio. Let me be the first to say “thank you” for your participation and partnership in what God is doing in and through Redeemer Presbyterian Church!

Redeemer’s giving through the first 10 months of the year also reflects this growth.  Having already received $1,268,024 in tithes and offerings, Redeemer is well positioned to reach our financial goals and set another record for giving. Nevertheless, in order to accomplish all our targeted objectives, the Session anticipates needing an additional $400,000. This number represents 22% of our operating budget, which is typical for end-of-year giving patterns.

Therefore, as this year comes to a close I want to remind you how essential your financial contributions are. Please sacrificially and prayerfully consider what your year-end giving will be to ensure that Redeemer fulfills all of our commitments.

Again, thank you for your important contributions! May God allow us to “shine as lights in the world” and expand the reach of His hope. (Philippians 2:15).

For Christ our Redeemer,

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Dr. Thomas C. Gibbs
Senior Pastor

  • To find out more about Redeemer’s 2016 budget and approach to giving, please click here.
  • If you would like to make your gift online, please click here.

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