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Christmas Offering 2018

December 16 is our Christmas Offering

Click here to give to this year's Christmas Offering.

Dear Church Family,

Recently something happened in the grocery store I won’t soon forget.  As I approached the checkout lanes I noticed a member of our church.  I said hello.  She turned around and we talked about how our families were doing.  Then our conversation turned toward UPC.  I brought up a few things we have going on and then, suddenly, I noticed her eyes had welled up with tears.  She looked at me and, speaking for her family, she said, “Matt, we love our church.  We love the mission of our church.  We thank God every day for our church.” 

I was moved by her genuineness and seriousness.  The cashier and the other people in line were moved as well.  It was as if, in those three short sentences, she somehow captured the eternal significance of the things our church is doing.  She paid for her groceries and we finished our conversation.  As she left the store, and as I began paying for my groceries, the man behind me said, “You’re a pastor at UPC, right?”  I said yes and introduced myself (and I thought – what is going on here?). I left the grocery store filled with the overwhelming joy of knowing I’m part of something eternally significant.  If UPC is your church, I hope you feel the same. 

You may have noticed that our worship attendance is trending up.  Perhaps that’s because, over the past year, our college ministry has grown from about 25 students to well over 50!  Maybe it’s because some of the families that came to our fall festival have begun to attend.  Jean (our Children’s Ministry Director) had 15 new kids in Sunday School last weekend!  Perhaps it is because we now have nearly 30 Community Groups.  Perhaps it is because this year we helped one local family transition into better housing and we’re in the process of helping three more!  Did you know we have over 40 people learning and growing through one-on-one discipleship (6 of whom are UCF students)!  I could go on and on and on (Transformers Club, ESL, Hispanic ministry, etc.).  God is doing so many wonderful things in and through the church to which we belong; the church we love.   

I love our church.  I love the mission of our church. I thank God for our church ever day.  And I believe God is calling us to take things to the next level in 2019.  One of the big things the Elders believe God wants us to do, now that Jack (our part-time Director of Worship) is stepping down, is hire a full-time Director of Worship.  There are several reasons this would be awesome.  Just imagine…

More instruments during worship (violin, mandolin, cello, etc.)

More services with a choir and/or special music

More testimonies from people whose lives have been changed by Jesus

More utilization of our musicians in outreach events

More mentoring and encouragement for younger musicians

More resources for personal and family devotions

Can you imagine?  Also, most of you know we’re looking to hire a new full-time Youth Pastor.  We want someone who will take our youth ministry to new heights.  We want to be a church that equips students, not simply to stay Christian in college, but to thrive spiritually and to lead others to Christ along the way.

So, what will it take for us to be able to move forward? If we have another outstanding Christmas Offering this year, we’ll be set. We’ll collect this year’s offering on Sunday, December 16. Right now I’m simply asking you to begin praying about giving big this year.  Let’s give generously and sacrificially to this offering because: we love our church, we love the mission of our church, and we’re grateful to God for making us part of something eternally significant.

Thanks for praying and preparing to give.  I can’t wait to see what God does in 2019!

Pastor Matt