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Stories from Westminster, Kathy Baker

Sustaining a Ministry of Excellence

I have been going to a Presbyterian Church all my life. I attended Westminster for 10 years before joining and I think the ministry that most spoke to me when I made the decision to add my name to the Westminster roll was the faithfulness of the saints I had met while attending here along with the music program. Participating in all the church activities has just been a part of my life. As a child I remember how we were given our offering to put in the plate and how we were taught to use our own money once we started to work.

In the Stewardship for all Seasons program the focus is on what is important and what mission you want to support. The Stewardship for all Seasons team recommended and the Session approved three initiatives. One of those was the Sustaining a Ministry of Excellence. This initiative recognizes the value of our staff and how we can support them. To have staff who are active participants in activities, who get to know the people in the congregation and actively engage with them and who demonstrate the passion to do more than the job description will require pay that is equitable to show our staff how much we appreciate and value their gifts and talents. Think about the number of sermons preached or Sunday School lessons prepared or Nursery activities created or Bible Studies conducted. Think about the hours spent looking for just the right music selections or the time involved for practice for those music selections. Or the time and creative efforts to publish a bulletin or a Fridge News. Or consider how many hours are needed to ensure that our sacred spaces are neat and clean and safe.

To be able to show the staff how much we appreciate them and the talents they share with us, we must also increase our revenue. When I think about my increase I have decided to forgo the $7.00 each week that I spend on a Starbucks coffee with a seven name title. I am committing to give that weekly increase to my pledge for Westminster. When I think about it in those terms I am much more willing to support the mission of Westminster than of Starbucks. This year I am inviting you to join with me and consider what weekly amount is right for you to increase your pledge. While the finance committee would greatly appreciate knowing the amount of your pledge you may also consider making this your commitment between you and Christ and simply let the finance ministry know that you do plan to increase your weekly pledge by a certain amount. Can you imagine if we were able to let each of our staff know what a great job they are doing by offering them a substantial increase in their yearly salaries because our yearly budget had increased so significantly. I am praying that you will join with each of us who are making that commitment.

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