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    Connections - Entries from January 2015

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    ThuThursdayJanJanuary22nd2015 Why Go to Cincinnati?
    byDana Gottfried Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    This past weekend about 17 of us went to Cincinnati to be hosted by a church very similar to ours in belief and practice – Bible Chapel of Delhi Hills. They hosted us in their homes and showed great love and care for us, even though most of us had never met before. We attended church with them and heard teaching on Revelation 7 – the vision of how all nations will worship God in heaven. We took a driving tour of Cincinnati and played games in their church gym on Sunday night. For some of the internationals in our group, this was the first time they stayed overnight in an American home. When we consider all they did for us in making us feel welcome, we feel so loved and so thankful.

    This person-to-person testimony of Christ’s love for us stands out as the highlight of our trip. But in a close second is the Creation Museum, which we visited on Monday. One of our group who is from China said to me after the trip, “Before the trip I didn’t believe the Bible. But after the trip to the Creation Museum, I see there are many ‘benefits’ that explain the things in the Bible. So I think some of the things in the Bible are true.” Further conversation revealed that two of the “benefits” he was thinking of are (1) there are many ancient scrolls of the Bible that say the same thing as the Bible we have today, and (2) the evidence in nature shows that the world at one time really was completely covered by water, just as the Bible says in the account of Noah’s flood.

    Thank you, Kossuth family, for supporting the international student ministry through your friendly interaction with internationals. If we had a good excuse to allow internationals stay in our homes for a day or two, I’m sure we would do it well. But it’s awkward to stay in someone’s home overnight when your apartment is nearby. One next best thing we can do is host the Lantern Festival party well at our church, scheduled for February 27. If you would like to help serve for this event, please let me know (e-mail Dana at dgottfried@slcfworld.com).

    ThuThursdayJanJanuary22nd2015 2015 Budget Preview
    byBill Davis Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    At our upcoming February Family Gathering we’ll be reviewing and congregationally voting to approve our 2015 budget. This is a couple of months later than we usually do budgeting, as the transition in 2015 presented some non-standard budget opportunities. (Recall that at our December Family Gathering we voted to continue operating up to two months in this year at 2014 levels.) A combined group from the finance team and elders has been discussing not only the goals of 2015, but also taking time to consider some potential budget and operating implications for 2016 as well. The full elder body has reviewed and approved the resulting budget to be presented for congregational approval.

    We’ll have a chance for Q&A at our Family Gathering to discuss any budget questions, but here are a few key aspects of this budget:

    • The overall budget level has been lowered from prior years to conform to more recent levels of giving receipts
    • In addition to the presented operating budget, we are forwarding a Capital budget of $20,000 for replacement of certain dated facility equipment (air conditioning units, doors, etc.) recommended by the Building and Grounds team. The Capital/Contingency Savings account presently has an approximate balance of $85,000.
    • The salaries & benefits include partial-year compensation for Pastor Whipple plus an additional amount to reflect KSBC’s value of generosity, our deep appreciation for his sacrificial commitment and leadership through this transition, our gratitude to God and love to Don and Sue for their 25+ years of service to the global-impact gospel work of KSBC, and a desire to help them launch into the next chapter of whatever God has in store.  This amount will be equivalent to extending compensation from Don’s final work day through September, as well as maintaining healthcare through end of 2015 or until he secures coverage elsewhere (whichever comes first).
    • The salaries & benefits also include an estimated half-year of the anticipated new hire in youth and children's ministry.
    • This 2015 budget cautiously forgoes a savings contingency amount (typically desired at 5%) in order to accommodate the new staff timing and transition. We fully expect to reinstate this in 2016.  We also began 2015 with an approximate balance of $88,000 in our General Fund.

    You can access the proposed budget here. If you would like to see the complete budget (including line item details), please contact the church office to receive a copy.

    FriFridayJanJanuary16th2015 A Farewell Letter
    byAndrew Swinehart Tagged No tags 0 comments Add comment

    [Editor's Note: This past Sunday was Andrew's final Sunday at Kossuth. As he moves away, we asked him to share a little bit about his time here.]

    "Kossuth is the best church". That's something former Purdue comrade and Kossuth member Nathan Kassebaum and I said fairly often during our season of churching together. That's something I'll remember as I move on and look for another place to call home.  

    After graduating from Purdue with a degree in Food Science, I hung around for another year, working a temporary job for Purdue as a computer geek. During that time, I was hoping and praying that God would bring me a real job so I could save up to go to Westminster Theological Seminary in a few years. The funny thing is that every once in a while, God's plans aren't mine. After a hundred or so job applications, I'm still waiting. So, while I'm still hoping and praying that God will get me a job, I'm also looking back on God's faithfulness over the past year or five.

    Among other ways, God has shown His faithfulness through the people at Kossuth. There are too many names to mention, but God has used lots of you to encourage me to be a disciple who makes disciples, to keep staring God in the face when he leaves me empty, to love those that I don't naturally like, to fight sin hard with God's strength, to let my walk with God be a community project, and to push others to do all of that and so much more.  I also need to thank many of you for your hospitality. I really appreciate time and effort you've put into providing meals, beds, rides, and hours hanging out.

    You've pleased God by welcoming and helping those you don't know, digging into the Scripture with each other, making s'mores with people who've never seen cornfields before, praying for one another, giving generously, and praising God for Jesus' work. Seeing Kossuth act like a bunch of God-loving Christians over the past several years even through change and stress has set a great example for me.  

    So through the future change and stress, keep learning to submit to the Scriptures in everything, to teach others to see God as He truly is, and to set your eyes on the goal. Don't stop being the "best" church. Thanks for all of your help and prayers.

    Grace & Peace,

    -Andrew

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