Thursday, October 30, 2014

Whiteboard: Narrative Budget and Worship

Wait, a pie chart?

On The Whiteboard?

What is going on here? I thought The Whiteboard always had something to do with worship.

Well, you see, this Sunday we are officially kicking off our 2015 Stewardship Campaign and we'll be doing things just a little bit different this year.

During the Stewardship Campaign we'll be presenting a Narrative Budget. Now, have no fear. In order to prepare a Narrative Budget you first have to go and do the faithful planning of a tradition line item budget. We know how much money we need ($260,834) and where those resources will be spent. But a Narrative Budget doesn't stop with the numbers. No, a Narrative Budget is a way for us to tell our story through our budgeting process!

Here is what you do. After preparing a full line-item budget (and we have copies of that available in the church office for anyone who wants to see one, just stop by!) you break down that budget even further by determining how those particular line-items fit into the specific categories of work that define what we do here at the church.

Sounds complicated, but really it isn't. Particularly when you have something that helps orient and organize our work here at the church like we do...our Mission Statement!

Every Sunday I begin the worship service by saying, "We are a Christ-centered Community Inviting Everyone to Seek and Celebrate God's Love through Joyful Worship, Mission, & Ministry!"

Did you catch those last three words (well, four if you count the ampersand)?




Those words define who we are as a church and help us categorize our work. The Finance Team and the Executive Team here at FCC Scottsdale have been working hard to take our line-item budget and break it out into those three key categories so that we can see just how we are putting your stewardship dollars to work for Worship, Mission & Ministry.

Thus the Pie Chart. It turns out that we allocate about 40% of our stewardship dollars for Worship here at FCC Scottsdale.

And I know what you are thinking: "Is the Worship Committees Budget really that large? Are we spending that much money on communion bread and grapejuice?"


Remember we are reallocating our line-item budget to fit our understanding of who we are. If you want to have a weekly worship service you're gonna need lights and (particularly here in Arizona) you're gonna need air conditioning. So we did a time study and broke out the amount of electricity that we need use on a regular basis for the Sunday morning worship service and we put that percentage of the Property Budget into the "Worship" category. We did a similar thing with my salary (about 40% of my time goes to planning and leading worship, so 40% of my salary went into the "Worship" category) and Jane's salary (30%, representing her time each week printing the bulletin, creating the Song Show Presentation, sending out the liturgy, updating the Worship page on the website and more). Since the worship service wouldn't be complete with music we also included the full salaries of our Director of Music Ministries, our accompanist, and our percusionist. Once you add all those things together (and a couple of smaller categories too, like, well, communion bread and grape juice!) you end up with a total that is about 40% of our budget.

That it is what you see on the Pie Chart this week on The Whiteboard, and that is what we'll be talking about in worship this coming Sunday -- Worship. We'll be talking about what it means, why we do it, why it is important, and we need to continue to support the worship ministries at FCC Scottsdale.

Next week I'll be adding the next category to The Whiteboard (Mission) and on November 9 the service will be built around it. Then on the week after that I'll update The Whiteboard with our third category (Ministry) and on November 16 we'll be talking about that. Finally, on November 23 we'll have our Dedication Sunday as we wrap up our Stewardship Campaign and turn over pledges to the glory of God.

It is going to be a lot of fun in the next few weeks church, because here is what a Narrative Budget really lets us do: Celebrating the stories of our church. We'll be talking about the incredible things that happen here at FCC Scottsdale and the ways that your tithes, offerings, and pledges help to make all of that happen. You won't want to miss a minute of it!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Whiteboard: Dare to Love Boldly

The Whiteboard is filled with my version of the logo for this weekend's Arizona Regional Assembly!

Our congregation, along with over 20 others from all over Arizona , will be part of the Ninety-fifth Regional Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Arizona this October 24th and 25th.

It is going to be a tremendous event. In fact, I am so sure that it will be a hit that I'm planning on preaching about it on Sunday morning...even though the event hasn't happened yet and won't even finish until Saturday evening!

Our Tucson hosts, First Christian and Capilla del Sol, have been busily preparing to welcome us to this regional gathering.

The Theme – Dare to Love Boldly! – promises to deliver both inspiration and challenge through preaching and informative workshops. Speakers Rebecca Hale, NBA Vice President for Mission and Ministry and Jose Morales, former Executive Regional Minister of the Central Rocky Mountain Region, are both dynamic speakers and won’t disappoint!

We also have the very talented Andra Moran providing music and leadership throughout the Assembly. Many of us have experienced her gifts – she has been a part of many General Assemblies and Quadrennial Assemblies over the past several years and recently served as the Music Leader at the National Pastor's Conference I attended in San Diego.

"With such a Hope as this we Act with Great Boldness" from 2 Corinthians 3:12 will serve as our guiding scripture passage. Our Assembly Planning Team has carefully considered these words as they have put together a variety of Workshops and Mission and Ministry Offerings. They want
us to think beyond our usual and comfortable places and move into those areas where the need for love and compassion is so great. Where God is calling us to respond.

Disciples from around Arizona and beyond will share in worship, fellowship, celebration and learning. So keep us in your prayers on Friday and Saturday and come join us for worship here at FCC Scottsdale on Sunday morning to hear all about it!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Whiteboard: Children's Sabbath

This Sunday we will celebrate the Children's Sabbath in our worship service!

Our children will be with us for the whole worship service which this Sunday will feature a Children's Sermon from Shirley B., a special prayer for All God's Children from Sandi D., and a special gathering area for our children and young people complete with blankets and cushions.

For folks who do not know about the Children's Sabbath here is brief excerpt from the Children's Defense Funds website:
Sponsored by the Children's Defense Fund, the National Observance of Children's Sabbaths Celebration is a way for faith communities to celebrate children as sacred gifts of the Divine, and provides the opportunity for houses of worship to renew and live out their moral responsibility to care, protect and advocate for all children."
Join us this Sunday for the Children's Sabbath and make sure to bring the children in your life (kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, next door neighbors...) so that they can celebrate this special worship service with us!


Matthew 19:13-15 Jesus Blesses Little Children

Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray.

The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’ 

And he laid his hands on them and went on his way.