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Bethlehem Blogs

December 18, 2019

Financial Update #2

Jon Grano

Pastor for Operations

Bethlehem’s Annual Meeting this past Sunday night included both a 2019 financial update and a presentation of Bethlehem’s proposed 2020 “Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25” budget. The financial update described two recent unbudgeted but needed 2019 facility improvements: replacing our main Downtown Sanctuary HVAC system and installing a new membrane roof over the Downtown Commons—a total cost of nearly $300,000. God graced us with both project safety and good weather, with the final portion of the new roof completed just hours before our first major winter snowstorm on November 26!

The staff continues to do a good job keeping expenses below our congregationally-approved budget of $10.6M, with 2019 expenses expected to be about $10.2M. Giving through December 15 totaled just under $9M, so join us in asking God for the $1.2M needed between now and December 31 to cover anticipated 2019 expenses ($1.6M to meet budget). As Pastor Jason highlighted in his December 10 “20/20 Vision & FAQ and Generous Giving” email to the congregation, 

Letting you know about Bethlehem’s financial need feels natural to me because it feels like when your family lets you know when they are in need. When my family asks for help, it feels so natural and automatic for me to respond and meet their need the best I can. So I am praying that the family of faith will come together and lean upon the Lord for an outpouring of the grace of generous giving. If Christians represent Christ, then our giving will reflect Christ’s giving. Therefore, a call to believe the gospel and a call to give cannot be separated.

 As 2019 comes to a close in two weeks, please consider making a generous investment in the Bethlehem “mutual fund” before the end of the year.  

Current Financial Data

To help inform your prayers and year-end giving decisions, contributions to Bethlehem’s 2019 “Fill These Cities: 25 x ’25” general operating fund through December 15, 2019, are summarized here:

  • 2019 YTD contributions: $8,963,978
    This year’s contributions are 2.5 percent below 2018 year-to-date contributions of $9,194,727, and 8.3 percent below our year-to-date budget target of $9,775,000.

Contribution Details

  • Use the Bethlehem Online Giving page to set up one-time or recurring giving via eCheck or credit card, where you can view your giving history, recurring giving schedule, and Contribution Statement. You can also donate via text-to-give (text “BBC amount” to 612-223-7432), or Bethlehem’s mobile app (e.g., BBC $50).
  • Please note that our fiscal year ends Tuesday, December 31. All 2019 contributions in checks or cash should be brought to the church or postmarked by December 31. All online contributions should be transacted before 11:45pm Central Time on December 31.
  • If you have questions about contribution options, including donations of stock or yearly “Required Minimum Distributions” (RMD) from an IRA account, contact Bethlehem’s Financial Secretary, Steve Walmsley (612-338-7653 x463).

Continued Generosity

Thank you for your continued financial generosity to Bethlehem. As we each steward the resources God has provided to us, consider reviewing “31 Radical, Liberating Questions to Ask God About Your Giving” found in Randy Alcorn’s excellent book The Treasure Principle (introductory 3-minute video here) 

And as Pastor Jason highlighted in his email, please join us in “praying for a 2 Corinthians 8 miracle—for grace to come down, joy to come up, and lavish generosity to go out” as we all join together to support the “mutual fund” of ministries that God has placed on Bethlehem’s heart.