Dear Metro Family,
I am excited to share with you information regarding our 11th annual CHRISTMAS OFFERING that begins on Sunday, November 19th. The subtitle of this offering sums up our hope:
METRO COMMUNITY CHURCH CHRISTMAS OFFERING
Making a Kingdom Difference
…in… Englewood, the East Coast, South Africa, Missionaries, and the Metro Community
Over the past thirteen years, we have seen Metro grow from a church with just a handful of people to one reaching a multitude of people from all walks of life. Along the way, we have seen lives changed by the power of God working through the people of our church. We have seen marriages restored, brokenness healed, loneliness defeated and overall lives transformed in Christ. While it is our hope and expectation as a church that God may continue to do His work in and through the lives of those at Metro, we have set aside this special offering to focus our care on those whom Jesus calls “the least of these” (Matt. 25:40), both within and outside of our church.
Each year, God challenges our church and our partners to come together for the sole purpose of making a Kingdom difference. The challenge can sometimes be daunting, but we always see God’s amazing faithfulness come through in the form of your generosity. Our culture has always been founded on the principle of releasing the blessings of God, affirming that our releasing of these blessings is not conditional upon our receiving of them. So while some of us may experience the financial pinch, we still feel it is imperative to “pay it forward,” because our hope and trust are not in the economy or the government, but rather, they are in God’s provision for our lives and in the life of Metro.
Will you begin to pray now about what God is calling you to give—over and above your regular giving—to this special offering, and thus, allow God to stretch your faith?
Pastor Peter Ahn
P.S. The enclosed documents provide a general overview and answer many of the common questions the congregation may have about the special offering. However, should you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the Metro staff by email or by phone at (201) 676-4765.
The 2017 CHRISTMAS OFFERING is a special offering with a goal of $250,000 for five purposes:
- Making a Kingdom difference in Englewood (Metro Community Center)
- Making a Kingdom difference by launching a Multi-Site Church
- Making a Kingdom difference in the East Coast (Jersey City and Swanzey Lake)
- Making a Kingdom difference in South Africa (Zimele USA and South Africa)
- Making a Kingdom difference by supporting Metro Missionaries
We will begin collecting the Christmas Offering from Sunday, November 19, 2017, through to Sunday, January 28, 2018.
The Purposes Of The Offering
1. Making a Kingdom Difference in… Englewood
In 2018, Metro Community Center will continue established programs, such as MetroLIFE, a personally tailored mentoring and guidance program for high-risk teens in Englewood; the MCC Youth Basketball League; and Summer Arts Camp for residents of Englewood. MetroLIFE will expand to serve more students beginning in the sophomore year (as opposed to junior year). The MCC Youth Basketball League will also expand to work with middle school students and become a comprehensive tournament league and mentorship program. In addition, MCC will work closely with the Department of Parks and Recreation to adapt the existing Summer Arts Camp curriculum to effectively meet the changing needs of the attendees. '
$70K of the Christmas Offering will be designated for this exciting opportunity
2. Making a Kingdom Difference by… launching a multi-site church
To extend Metro’s impact throughout Bergen County and to create room for growth in our Englewood location, our leadership, through prayer and discernment have decided that we will launch a multi-site church in the Edgewater area in late 2018. We will be one church that meets in multiple locations. Launching this multi-site will offer a shorter commute to our Edgewater/Hudson County folks, but also will be more effective in welcoming new people in the area. It is going to be an exciting 2018.
$60K of the Christmas Offering will be dedicated for future satellite church
3. Making a Kingdom Difference In… the East Coast
New City Kids: Jersey City (www.newcitykids.org) serves over 300 at-risk youth though a network of After School Centers setting them up for academic achievement, leadership development, music training, and Gospel-driven mentorship. Metro Community Church is committing $20,000 towards New City Kids’ dynamic programs to impact the lives of urban youth through internships, which set teens on the path to college and becoming leaders, off-site Christian retreats, and supplies for the 2nd to 6th graders specifically at New City Kids’ Lafayette site in Jersey City.
Pilgrim Pines Conference Center (www.pilgrimpines.org), located in Swanzey Lake, NH, is one of the retreat and camp centers operated by the Evangelical Covenant Church, Metro’s own denomination. Each year, this center serves over 9,000 guests, providing an ideal setting for them to learn to love God, love people, learn new skills and just have fun. In the past three years, Metro’s Youth Group, Men’s Ministry and families have visited the camp and have been deeply impacted. $18,000 of the Christmas Offering will go towards the renovation of Camp Squanto (Youth Camp), so that they can accommodate and ensure greater safety for the youth.
$38K of the Christmas Offering will be designated for these exciting opportunities
4. Making a Kingdom Difference in… South Africa
Founded in 2007, the mission of Zimele USA (www.zimelecommunity.org) is to confront the root causes of poverty in rural South Africa by empowering women with financial literacy, small business and life skills. To date, Zimele USA has supported programs that have empowered 10,000 women and their households to sustain independent livelihoods and break historic cycles of poverty.
Zimele USA will continue it’s mission in 2018 by:
- increasing programming to reach more women in the current five communities
- expanding geographically into an additional community
- supporting existing social service projects by organizing Ambassador trips with focuses on health and skills workshops
- supplying much needed resources for the communities and training workshops led by Ambassador groups
$50K of the Christmas Offering will be designated for this amazing partnership
5. Making a Kingdom difference… by supporting Metro Missionaries
Metro is fortunate and excited to be able to partner with multiple in-house missionaries.
Linda Swanson serves missionaries through Paraclete Ministry (www.paraclete.net) in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Africa through various conferences and small group gatherings in their local region. Her ministry has allowed missionaries and their families to heal and be restored from difficult challenges that they face on the mission field.
Scott Kwak serves as the Asia Director for World Race (www.worldrace.org). The World Race is a stretching journey into 11 countries in 11 months to serve “the least of these.” This unique mission trip is a challenging adventure for young adults to abandon worldly possessions and a traditional lifestyle in exchange for an understanding that “it’s not about you; it’s about the Kingdom.” Scott travels around Asia to invite young people to be a part of The World Race and also leads The World Race groups in Asia.
Jong Ah Park serves as Director of Global Mission and Leadership Development for Korean Campus Crusade for Christ (www.kcccusa.org) and CRU (www.cru.org), organizations that reach out and minister to college students around the U.S. Jong Ah will organize short-term and long-term mission trips, as well as develop curricula and implement leadership programs for college students.
$32K of the Christmas Offering will be dedicated to support Metro’s missionaries
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why A Special Offering?
As part of God’s plan to grow the faith of the people in His church, He calls us to sacrificial giving from time to time. This special offering is an opportunity for us to grow in our faith and to prepare us for what God wants to do through our church in 2018. We’re taking this offering not because we’re off budget, but rather, to position ourselves to make a greater impact in 2018, both locally and globally.
2. What’s The Difference Between The Regular Offering And This Special Offering?
The regular Metro offering is the proportional amount (the full tithe of 10%) that we set apart on a systematic basis and give throughout the year. From time to time, there are opportunities to give in a sacrificial way. The annual Christmas Offering is one of those sacrificial occasions that will stretch us to grow in our faith. The special offering should be over and above what you regularly give.
3. How Much Should I Give?
Since the goal is $250,000 this year, this special offering will involve everyone. Please prayerfully consider a sacrificial gift that will stretch your faith. The precise amount you give is between you and God. Many in our church can give a $1,000 - $5,000 gift. Others will be able to give $100-$500. The issue is not equal giving but equal sacrifice. What amount can you give that will stretch your faith?
4. When & How Should I Give?
The best time to give will be on Sunday, November 19. Please pray about making your best gift on that day; however, you can continue to give until January 28, 2018. Please use the “Christmas Offering” envelopes or include a note with your Sunday offering, designating that your gift is for the Christmas Offering. You can also give online (www.emetro.org/give) or via our Metro App - simply select Christmas Offering in the “Giving Type” section of the giving screen.
5. Are My Gifts Tax Deductible?
All gifts to Metro Community Church, whether via the regular offering or this special offering, are completely tax-deductible. Be sure your gift arrives at our office before December 31, 2017 to ensure that it can be applied to your 2017 Giving Statement. All gifts after December 31 will be applied to your 2018 Giving Statement. Please be sure to include your name and address when you give so that a receipt can be sent to you in early 2018. You are not required to utilize a tax deduction for your gift, but it is available for all gifts. Also, you can donate stocks this year! For more info, please contact Mi-Young Chung at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. How Did We Arrive At The $250,000 Goal?
The $250,000 goal was prayerfully set by Pastor Peter, pastoral staff, and the Leadership Team. It is a God-sized goal that can only be accomplished through 100% participation and sacrificial giving by our Metro attendees and partners. Because we are expecting God to bless this special offering, it has been determined that any amount over and above our goal will be divided equally between missions and ministry advancement.
7. How Will I Know If We’ve Reached Our Goal?
Please pray for God’s guidance as we give sacrificially. You will be updated on our giving status through emails and Sunday services. Reaching this goal will be a celebration of what we can do together as we stretch our faith under God’s leadership.