Every December, we encourage the congregation to give generously so we can end the year meeting our budget. Our budget is a statement of faith because it shows what we are asking God to help us accomplish each year. Without the funds, we can’t complete the work. At the end of October, we were about $28,000 short of meeting our ministry budget. We are asking God to provide for this shortfall so that we can do everything we believe God wants us to do this ministry year.
But, this year, we want to do more than just meet our budget. The Apostle Paul described the giving by the Corinthian church as a service that: “is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” (2 Cor. 9:12)
This year, we are asking you to give an offering that overflows to others. That means we are asking God to provide everything we need to the end of December. If he gives us anything extra, we will give it away! That is right! Every dollar designated to our General Fund that exceeds our budget to the end of December will be given to a children’s ministry in Lebanon. Think of it this way: We are trusting God to meet our needs in December and, instead of holding on to any extra for the next month, we are going to share it with others and then trust God to meet our needs again in January.
The ministry we have chosen to “overflow” to is the Clementina Learning Centre in Lebanon. This ministry is trying to reach some of the 630,000 children and families that have become refugees from the war-torn countries of Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. The Learning Centre is currently seeking to intentionally meet the needs of 120 students by providing them with food, learning opportunities, care and, most importantly, the Word of God. Their ministry also gives them an open door to connect with the families of these children so that they, too, can learn about Jesus.
Options for GivingWe offer several payment methods for giving to the ministry of Summerside Community Church:
1. The link below will open a secure window in which to make a donation through Tithe.ly.
2. Below the “give” button below are links to the iPhone or Android Tithe.ly apps to give through an app.
3. If you want to give regularly, directly from your bank account, you can set up an automatic withdrawal (a.k.a. Electronic Funds Transfer; Direct Debit; Pre-Authorized Payment). CLICK HERE to download and complete the form here and then give to our treasurer in mailbox E35.
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Clementia Learning Center
About the Clementia Learning Centre
If you were at church the last Sunday in October, you will remember hearing from Bechara Karkafi, the missionary working in Lebanon and Canada. He mentioned a ministry in Lebanon that he was promoting called the Clementia Learning Centre. The Centre has two goals:
1. Providing learning opportunities for refugee children
2. Developing relationships and community among refugee families
During times of relative peace, before all the turmoil, Syrians were notoriously closed to the Gospel. Many would not have even considered interacting with Christians; indeed, they would have had little opportunity to do so as there were so few Syrian Christians.
Now, separated from their homeland, many are encountering Christians for the first time! They are experiencing the demonstration of the love of Christ through believers who are providing food, learning opportunities, care and, truly, the most precious gift: The Word of God.
The Learning Centre is providing transportation, stationary, trips, medical insurance, food and more for about $1,350 cnd per student each year. Our contributions will help the ministry continue and, if possible, even expand.
This ministry is not just a random one we discovered. It has connections with Pioneers Canada and our Fellowship International ministries. We are confident this will be a valuable investment that will produce eternal results.
Q: How much money are we raising?
A: There are really two parts to that answer:
1. We want to raise enough money to cover all of Summerside’s budgeted expenses up to the end of the year. That means we want to do things like: keep our building warm & clean; provide resources for ministries to all ages; support our staff who help us do as much as we do; and support our missionaries who are helping us take the gospel to the rest of the world. The total we need to receive to make sure all those expenses are covered to the end of the year is around $80,000.
2. Beyond that, with the “overflow”, we want to make a significant contribution to the Clementia Learning Centre (CLC). We haven’t set a goal. We are just committing to pass on whatever we receive beyond our own need, to help meet the needs of this great ministry in Lebanon.
Q: How much have we received so far?
A: After the first two Sundays, we had received $34,000 . That is a great start to meeting our goal!
Q: How much would I need to contribute to meet the goal?
A: According to our Financial Team, in 2017 there were 186 “supporters” (couples and singles) who contributed more than $200 to our ministry. The total annual donations ranged anywhere from $200 up to $14,000 per supporter. That means, if we received an average of $200 from each of our 186 ‘supporters’ (in addition to what we need for the month), we would meet our financial needs and be able to bless the CLC in an amazing way. We know that some may only be able to give $20 while others may be able to give $2000. The challenge is for everyone to pray about what they can do to meet the need.
Having said that, if you have been around Summerside for any length of time, you know we operate out of grace, not guilt! God wants people to give cheerfully, not grudgingly because they have been pressured to do so (see 2 Corinthians 9:7) So we invite you to make a cheerful generous gift to help us advance God’s mission!
Q: How can I participate in the challenge?
A: There are several ways you can make a tax-deductible donation:
• One of the Sunday morning offerings
• Through our website, by Dec. 31st
• Through the Tithe.ly app, by Dec. 31st
Whichever way you choose to give, designate it to the General Fund so that your donation will be counted towards this challenge.
Q: Are we really giving any extra away?
A: That question could sound like the extra is being wasted! However, what we are doing, is intentionally seeking to use the overflow to bless a ministry that is making a huge impact in the Middle East, specifically among Muslim refugee families.
We are trusting God to meet our needs for this month, and we are making a commitment that if God provides more than we need by the year’s end, we are going to use the overflow to bless the Clementia Learning Centre (CLC).
Q: How will the extra money be used?
A: Our newest missionary, Bechara Karkafi, is living in Lebanon and has direct connections with the CLC. Both our Fellowship International, and Pioneers mission agencies, have endorsed this ministry and are confident it is well managed and doing great work.
• CLC uses the funds to provide an educational environment to refugee children, which naturally includes teaching them about Jesus!
• The centre is also able to have a ministry with the parents, who are usually excited someone is helping their children.
• The annual cost per student is $1,350 in Canadian funds. This year they are providing for 120 children from Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.