Beautiful and Bountiful

The New Year is upon us and I can only wonder what it will bring. Will we fulfill our promise to reach out to folks we have never sought to engage until now? Will our community become a beacon of safety and welcome? Will there be enough moments of hope to balance despair?
Several years ago, members of Eastrose decided to share our weekly cash collection with local organizations which supported our mission. Thus, our Sharing the Bounty program began. These dedicated members visited each group before including them on the list; they knew the people and what they were doing. As the years went by, the selection process and the recipients became less visible. Two years ago, we chose recipients at a congregational meeting; last year we continued with that list. Coming into 2018 we need a new process.
Also coming into 2018, the balanced budget we approved for the year uses money from savings and special funds. These are one-time transfers and will not be an option next year, making our budget unsustainable into 2019. The Board is committed to finding new sources for funding during 2018 and will begin that exploration at our January Board meeting.
Given both of these circumstances, we thought it might be a good time to share our bounty with ourselves. The additional funds will replenish some of our savings as well as give us time to look at different ways to determine which outside agencies we will want to support in the future. So, in January and February, Eastrose will be the recipient of cash collected at our Sunday services. During these months, we’d like to hear your ideas on both fronts – how to Share the Bounty in the future; and ideas for ways to improve our funding base. You can send your ideas to me, or our Board President Frank Garneaux.
This is not the only way you can support Eastrose right now. We need your help picking up trash from our grounds before each Sunday morning service (we’ll provide gloves and bags); with office tasks from data entry to mailings; and to help with the Children’s program. You’ll hear more about all of these responsibilities. And each time we’ll try different ways to entice you. But yesterday, at the first Sunday worship service of the year I saw the only reason any of us should need. Her name is Augusta June and she is just shy of one month old. Her parents, Jaime and AJ Kincaid were beaming, and very patient as the line formed to hold this precious child. In a time much shorter than we imagine, Augusta June will start coming to our nursery on Sunday. Then she’ll be in our Religious Exploration program.
All of the tasks for which we ask your help – whether they seem mundane or significant to you – need to happen to keep our congregation vibrant and prepared to meet the challenges of helping this precious infant learn how to make her own decisions and navigate the world she will inherit from us. And she needs all of us, as well, to guide and support her as she grows – and to help with the mundane parts of our ministries of administration, weekly facilities and grounds tasks, and service to our programs. You don’t have to wait to be asked, you can volunteer right now – doubling the gift of your time. You will also bring a sigh of relieve and appreciation to the volunteer whose job you’ve just made a little lighter.