Leo Flaten is the Treasurer for Project ’84. I thank God for him, and for Rollin and Olive and Jim and Cavour and John — the steering committee for the project. And for all of you division leaders and captains and canvassers. Some of you have worked more than any of us knows. Please know that I am obeying 1 Thessalonians 5:13 toward you all: “Esteem them very highly in love because of their work.”
Leo’s job now will be to receive and disburse the over-and-above income earmarked for Project ’84. For example, last Sunday $6,038 came into this account. Under the plan adopted by the church, 37.5% of the income (under $400,000) will go to the Conference Decade Growth Fund, and 62.5% will go to major site development needs here (parking expansion, new roof, etc).
As of Monday morning, the total pledged for the next three years was $222,178, made up of 153 pledges. That’s an average of over $14 per week per pledge. To all of you in that number I send out my deepest thanks. Eighty-three cards have been turned in with no pledge; fifteen came in with a “maybe we’ll give,” and eleven came in with a promise to give, but with no amount specified.
Believe it or not, I even thank God for the non-givers. Some of you are pressed to the limit already; some of you in good conscience don’t approve of this method of fundraising; some of you don’t approve of how the money is being disbursed. Don’t worry: I still love you (even though I don’t know who you are). We simply must respect each other’s consciences and only urge each other to stay open to the Spirit’s leading and the Scripture’s guidelines.
But now where are we? This is a crucial week. Over 200 giving units have yet to respond. They will make all the difference. Many modest gifts and some large ones could bring us to “victory” ($400,000). Already on the basis of $222,000 we will be giving to conference ministries over $72,000, which is almost twice what they expected from us. I pray that the taste of such generosity will whet your appetite to give “according to [your] means . . . and beyond [your] means” (2 Corinthians 8:3) in honor of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.