Greetings from the Moderator OCTOBER 2018
A discussion took place at the September Presbytery that has bothered me ever since, so I’d to share my concern. I offer this view from a personal perspective with no intention of offending anyone. If you have ever ridden a bicycle, then you understand the importance of your wheels and the need for each wheel to have a functional hub. Without this central element, where each spoke connects, to the wheel simply could not function. If the hub is too small too small and therefore incapable of linking all the spokes, the wheel cannot work, at least not properly. I would like to suggest that our Presbytery is like the hub of a wheel.
Without the faithful staff in the Presbytery office and the service they provide, and without the work of the presbytery committees, our denomination’s age old organization would fail. October is often the time when our congregations and our Presbytery begin planning for the coming year and seek support from our members to realize our ministry goals in the year ahead.
At the church level most begin a stewardship campaign as we seek commitments from our members. Our ability to execute the Great Commission depends on the faithful support of our members. I am confident that each of our 63 congregations need and will seek support from their members through their time and talent and also their commitment of financial resources.
It is no different for our Hub – the Presbytery.
If our members do not respond to our churches appeal, for any number of reasons and will not commit their time, talent and financial support to the ministry, the Body of Christ cannot function in the way in which it is expected. The greater the number of members in that situation the less effective the organization will be.
Each church in Central Florida Presbytery is part of the Presbytery where there is a mutual inter-dependence. Each of our congregations need the presbytery to function effectively and the Presbytery is dependent on each congregation for its existence.
In addition to our very small, but dedicated, staff we need many volunteers to serve on the committees that represent the working arm of this essential part of our ministry. This all requires funding. The source of that funding, for your Presbytery, comes from two sources:
Per Capita is used to pay for the essential administrative operation of the three governing bodies of the Presbytery Church (USA): Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly. While Per Capita is an essential element to the funding for some administrative costs, it does not pay everything.
Commitment to Support our Shared Mission
The other part of the funding comes from our congregations, in the form a pledge to provide financial support the Presbytery. In the same manner that we need the members of our congregations to support our local churches' ministries, the presbytery is dependent on our 63 congregations to support its mission to serve us!
During the September Presbytery meeting there was a discussion about the number of congregations that fail to recognize or honor their obligation to support the Presbytery. Based on the report in our September meeting packet 20 congregations (32% of the churches and 22% of the membership in the Presbytery) pledged nothing for 2018 and, to date, have given nothing in support of the Shared Mission.
I am certain that there are many reasons for their decision, but it is my prayer that the sessions of these congregation will re-consider for 2019.
We are a connectional church. When we work together, the Body of Christ is stronger. Our hub is the presbytery and we need to keep it strong so we can go far in answering the Great Commission.