Note From The Senior Pastor
December 18, 2018
On the last Sunday in October, we celebrated 8 years as pastor and people. What a blessing it was! I also shared with you that we were taking the church on a sabbatical in attempts to reset our culture. While we have not seen a decline, it is clear that SEUCC has hit a plateau. In Matthew 28, Jesus gave those final instructions to the disciples, calling for an exponential expansion by turning non-believers into believers—just like on Sunday when we baptized 5 individuals. We must not become comfortable with how things look, rather we must run after the vision God has given us. I hope I can count on your support.
Since that last Sunday in October, I have been working diligently with our team to assess our current culture, envision a new one and come up with a strategic plan to implement a more transformational culture. Nearly every study says it takes approximately 36 months for culture to shift. While that seems a long way off, we must start somewhere.
I want to keep you abreast of the steps we are taking as a church and hope that you will join us during this ReSet Sabbatical to become all God is envisioning us to be. Attached HERE is a condensed version of our plan to ReSet the culture here at South Euclid. This initial plan informs you of the steps we are taking between now and Easter Sunday to move in the direction of a culture shift. I am certain there will be more to follow, but for now, we want you to be aware of the direction we are headed as a church. We need your prayers and your support during this time.
Additionally, we are preparing to embrace a brand-new year. It seems 2018 flew by. I hope you will join us for Watch Night Worship at 7:00 PM on Monday, December 31, 2018 as we thank God for seeing us through 2018 and look ahead to a new year. On Sunday, January 6, 2019 we will call for our Annual All Church Fast. This is a wonderful way to begin 2019 with God. We hope to cleanse our temples (bodies) and prepare our hearts for God to move on our behalf in 2019. As a part of our 21 day fast, we will have daily prayer at 6:00 AM on my conference line and will conclude on Saturday, January 26th with Corporate Prayer in our Sanctuary at 9:00 AM. In preparation for the fast, we encourage you to review our 2019 Fasting Guide and our Recipe Guide. We hope you will find these resources helpful as we embark on this intentional time of prayer. Also, if you are looking for a good book to start the year, and read during our fast let me suggest: Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation by M. Robert Mulholland Jr. This book is a wonderful guide for the start of your year and to set a firm foundation in your 2019 walk with God. I strongly recommend it.
Finally, as I mentioned Sunday, we are blessed to have had 175 years of ministry to the greater Cleveland area and beyond. Many churches never reach such a milestone. In thanksgiving to God, we are asking every adult to sacrifice by giving no less than $175 and every school age child to sacrifice by giving $17.50 to our church. If you would like to make your donation before the end of the year, you may do so with cash, a check or via our many online portals (web, givelify, text2tithe). What is most important is that you designate the donation for the “175th Anniversary”. We intend to collect all gifts by Easter Sunday, on April 21st. If you begin giving on the first Sunday in January, a sacrificial gift of $12 per week—over and above our tithes and offerings—will help us achieve this set goal. This is equivalent to the sacrifice of one lunch per week. School aged children can set aside a portion of their allowance or their gifts from Christmas. Teaching generosity begins at an early age.
I cannot stress to you enough how important it is to have you sacrifice, with me, to make this happen for our church. A lot of the work we do to make a difference in the community, and in the lives of our members will be impacted by this gift. I hope I can count on you to sacrifice so that we might be able to show what God is able to do through the sacrifices of those who follow Jesus Christ.
Thank you for all you do to support South Euclid United Church of Christ. Your commitment to God, through this ministry, is making the difference. Let us continue to walk with God by faith, and not by sight.
Called for the Purpose of the Kingdom,
Pastor Courtney Clayton Jenkins
Senior Pastor & Teacher