Easter Offering Designation
The duties of the deacons, according to the Book of Church Order, include “a ministry of mercy, service, and outreach…and care to the whole benevolence program of the church. They have charge of all gifts contributed for the benefit of the poor and distribute them with discretion.” Many of the organizations that are supported through the regular benevolent budget of Hope Church, such as the Good Samaritan Ministries, Community Action House, the Free Health Clinic, and others work for the benefit of the poor.
But often the requests and need for assistance comes in a more personal, individual form both from within the congregation and within the neighborhood. That is why the deacons also maintain a Deacons Fund. These needs come in as requests for food, gas, emergency auto repairs, rental and utility expenses to help people remain in their home and keep it comfortable, unexpected medical or dental expenses, and immediate expenses caused by a house fire. Typically these requests are from the immediate area, but occasionally the Deacons Fund is also used for more widespread assistance such as helping to purchase supplies for kits sent to Flint in response to the water crisis in cooperation with Maple Avenue Ministries. Actual decisions on the use of Deacons Fund moneys are made by the pastors, sometimes in conjunction with the Senior Deacon, with review from the entire Board of Deacons (without identifying information included).
Hope Church is generous in its support of the Deacons Fund, but the needs are also ongoing. Therefore at their January meeting, the deacons voted to designate the 2018 Easter offering to go to the Deacons fund. This year you have a double opportunity to give: on Easter Sunday, April 1, there is a special envelope for an Easter Offering as well as one of the ‘extra’ yellow envelopes which are included throughout the year for Deacon’s Fund contributions. Using only one of the envelopes is fine, but please consider keeping the other one for another contribution at some point during the year. The envelopes can be placed in the offering on any Sunday, not just Easter Sunday, and if you don’t use the envelopes, writing Deacons Fund on the memo line of the check is fine.
Thank you in advance for your support of this important ministry of Hope Church.