By Jonathan Brownson –
One of the lessons we learn as a church is that God wants us to celebrate not only what God provides but when God provides it.
Jim, a friend of the church, writes grants for a living and had been volunteering his time to write grants for giving to our fund raising for needed repairs. We had been waiting on three outstanding requests for repair for some time. After church at noon on Sunday, September 7, we talked through what to do about those requests. I told Jim I would try to contact the foundations as soon as possible.
However, God had other plans. Just two hours after Jim and I talked and without my initiative, I received the following email from Mark, a friend in one of those foundations we had been waiting to hear from for a long time. It read:
All along the way, I have been thinking and praying about what I would like our family foundation to give to your church and to our own church. After calculating and discerning, I have come to the decision to match my family’s church gift with a gift to your church. My family is planning on giving $5,000 each year for three years to each church, for a total of $15,000 to each church. It’s in a spirit of being missional with our gifts that we decided to give not only to our own church’s capital campaign, but also to match our giving to another church. When I considered how blessed our church is to possibly build a beautiful new sanctuary, I also considered how other churches without such financial means also deserve to have a new or renewed sanctuary.
Why, I wondered, was he talking about a new or renewed sanctuary? Our capital campaign originally had no plan for the sanctuary. Most of what we had to do was nuts and bolts stuff (elevator, parking lot, boiler, electrical).
Then it dawned on me. Our trustees had recently decided for safety reasons that we needed to revise our original fund raising proposal and replace our bunched up carpet in… you guessed it… our sanctuary.
We had scheduled carpet replacement September 8 (just hours after I had talked to Jim, our grant writer, and heard from Mark, the family foundation member.) And how much did the carpet cost?… you guessed it… roughly $15,000…exactly the amount the foundation decided to give.