So we have decided to see the BIG ONE as our friend, sent to us by God, rather than fearing it as a terrible wave that will overwhelm and destroy us. With his help, we intend to ride it, as a surfer would.

My boyhood fear of the big wave that had the power to destroy me is similar to what a sailor must feel when a big storm is brewing. Psalm 107 graphically describes this:

Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the mighty waters; they saw the deeds of the LORD, his wondrous works in the deep. For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea; they mounted up to heaven, they went down to the depths; Their courage melted away in their calamity; they reeled and staggered like drunkards and were at their wits’ end. Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out from their distress; he made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they had quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love. (Psalm 107:23-31)

Last week I indicated that the budget adopted at our Annual Meeting was expanded and visionary. Part of the increase is due to unavoidable additional costs, especially in utilities and other facilities expenses. Some of it is designated to improving the salaries of the church staff. However, part of it is also a commitment to the future, in the $4,000 provided for a team of ABC members to participate in a program developed by the Fuller Youth Institute. They will be involved for a year in a cohort, together with representatives from thirty other churches nationwide, doing an in-depth analysis of the church’s ministry and relevance to younger generations, focusing on teens and young adults. This will be a big step and involve a serious commitment from team members.

ABC’s Finance Department has calculated that we will need about $16,000 more income during the next year to meet this budget challenge. Fortunately, God has sent us a special surf board to encourage us, in the form of some surprising sizable donations, one from the estate of Jo Wilson and one from John Pomroy. We also received a healthy use fee for a movie filming at this location. We have put these funds into CD accounts to use as the Lord leads us. We’re trying to be good stewards and not spend them all at once on needed facilities upgrades, etc. Instead, we believe that God wants us to use them strategically, over the next few years, to launch ABC into its next phase of ministry.

Here’s what we believe the Lord is leading us to do. We are asking all of you who are part of the church family to consider increasing your stewardship through ABC. We believe that, if we all do our part, we can make up half the needed increase, or $8,000. We will supplement that, as needed, with $8,000 from our surf board funds in savings accounts. Combining these two sources, we’ll be able to meet the budget challenge and ride the BIG ONE into whatever future God has in mind for us.

We’ve provided an easy way to indicate your response to this proposal. Click to download this form and give us your feedback.

Surf’s up! According to Psalm 107 (above), the wave that threatens us is from God. We just need to learn to ride it, with his help.

— Pastor George Van Alstine