Treasurer … Fall 2016

As the ABWM-NYS board just concluded their Fall Meeting, Sandra Hasenauer gave us ALOT to think about in regards to change at all levels of our organization.

The topic that struck me most was in regards to exploring our feelings about change. The more she spoke, the more I was reminded that when it comes to change, many of us within the church can all act like a strong-willed child at times. Now as a parent of two teenagers and 1 tween, I have been doing a lot of reading about strong-willed children as of late.

I will briefly discuss the three common themes I found.

The first is that the primary reason for many to act strong-willed is that we feel that our environment/society is changing in a way that we do not like or understand, so we dig our heels in and exert our wills at all costs. I can’t help but think that this is what is happening in our churches these days. We make poor choices, based on raw emotions or attitudes often to the detriment of God’s will for our lives and our programs.

The next two deal with how we can persuade our strong-willed child the importance of change/obedience. First, most strong-willed children just want to understand why it is in their best interests to change. It is important as parents and church leaders, not to just say we must change, but to truly help our charges to understand, what the consequences will be if they continue on the same course.

I believe that one of the strongest deterrents to change is comfort. Kids would rather play than read, and likewise when we participate in a church program, we don’t want to feel uncomfortable. But God call us to be obedient, not comfortable.

Finally, we must find a motivating goal that inspires the person to change. Nobody wants their church to die, but we have to find a goal that is so motivating that the person does not mind making the sacrifice to achieve that goal.

I know with 2 of my three children, I have easily figured out the goals that inspires them; however, with the third child, to no avail, we have not found a single motivating goal that will motivate them to make good choices. It may be that way in the church as well. We are never going to be able to motivate everyone with the same goal.

We cannot give up, but when something fails, be persistent to help motivate.

As I was writing this, the LORD brought this passage to my attention. In 1 Kings 8:46-49 (NIV), it says

“When they sin against you–for there is no one who does not sin–and you become angry with them and give them over to the enemy, who takes them captive to his own land, far away or near; and if they have a change of heart in the land where they are held captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their conquerors and say, ‘We have sinned, we have done wrong, we have acted wickedly’;  and if they turn back to you with all their heart and soul in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their fathers, toward the city you have chosen and the temple I have built for your Name; then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.”

This comes from Solomon’s prayer of dedication when the ark was brought to the temple after Solomon succeeded David as King of Israel. I couldn’t help but think of how this applies to us. Israel, was in the same situation many churches feel they are in today.

Israel felt that David was one of the best Kings, but now they had a new king and the future was uncertain. Many in the church feel defeated that we will never “be able to reclaim the days of David”, when the church was overfilled with families and children. However, we must remember that with God all things are possible, but it takes willingness and sacrifice on our part.

When we become held captive by “our idea” of church or ABWM and do not allow room for God to direct us in how he wants our church worship and programs to look like-we have sinned against God.

We have to remember that our church is not “our” church, but God’s. He has entrusted it to us and we must be good stewards, accept the responsibility and ensure that it is preserved for the future. So, when we open our hearts to the will of God in regards to our lives and organization, God will work! He will hear our prayers, he will change our hearts and he will uphold the cause of ABWM.

The Finances

As of this report, these are the balances of the NYS funds:

  • NYS General–$11,811.73 ($5,000 of which is designated to replenish investment funds that were withdrawn during a time of need)
  • NYS Scholarship–$3,401.65
  • NYS AB Girls–$1,824.60
  • NYS Leadership Development–$3,997.84.

We received an offering of $464.31 for the Special Project. This brought the total we received for the 2016-2017 NYS Special Project of the ABWM NYS General Fund/Convention & Conference Scholarship Fund to $783.31.

This is drastically low compared to past projects and the same time frame.

The project was chosen because of your suggestions to provide funds to enable more ladies to attend ABWM functions. We want to be able to provided these travel scholarships to ensure that any person who wants to attend a function is not prevented from doing so because of lack of funds.

So far, we have received the following contributions to be forwarded to national ministries:

  • Love Gift-$2,175.82
  • National-$1,311.37
  • Women & Girls Mission Fund-$60.00
  • National AB Girls- 154.00
  • National Leadership Development-$25.00
  • Refit-$275.00.

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