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October 2017

 Barbara Anderson has very graciously given the Hill City United Methodist Church a gift of $102,500 to cover the church’s heating bills in memory of her parents, Lew and Mattie Berry.  $2,500 will go directly to cover the bills for 2017-18 and the remaining $100,000 will be invested.  The earnings will be used to cover future heating bills and any remaining yearly earnings may be expended as the church decides.  Mrs. Anderson has been donating funds for the last several years to cover heating costs.  Her latest bequest is given to assure our heating costs will be covered when she is no longer able to do this. This is a very important gift that will ease our future financial burdens and could be of great benefit to the church.  I write, “could” because it will depend on how we as church members respond to this amazing gift.  It is my hope that we will see this as an assurance that the Hill City Church has a good and prosperous future serving its members, the community, and the world through the larger church.  I hope that seeing this hopeful future will encourage all our members and constituents to continue their support and in fact increase their support.    As it is, our current giving level will not sustain the church.  Each month we are falling a little more behind.  I believe this is because people do not realize how important their giving is.  I know Hill City is not a prosperous area and our constituents and members do not have great wealth.  Many of you have been faithful and generous givers; however, our future depends on our receiving support on a regular basis from each of you who read this letter.  Large donations are inspiring but it is your donations that come in every month that keep a church alive. That of course depends on you believing that you, our community, and others beyond our community are benefited significantly by the Hill City United Methodist Church.   Barbara Anderson believes she and her family benefited from the ministries of this church.  That is why she has given this wonderful gift.  I invite each of you to examine how this church has benefited you in the past, in the present, and will in the future.  Look at how it is benefiting children through Vacation Bible School that served over 40 children this summer, confirmation, Sunday school, and numerous youth activities; how it is benefiting adults and the elderly through regular Sunday morning services, adult classes, weddings, baptisms, funerals, support to persons and families in need, and visitations with those who are sick or grieving.  There are also the hidden benefits.  A part of all giving goes to local and distant mission work spreading the Gospel and ministering to those in need.  It also supports the education and assignment of qualified clergy.  If it were not for local church support of the United Methodist Church, I would not have been able to attend seminary or be here serving the Hill City Church.  My fellow clergy, our District Superintendent, and our Bishop continue to give me spiritual and practical support I am in great need of to serve this church.   All of these elements of ministry depend upon our faithful financial support.  I am encouraged by Barbara Anderson’s generosity.  I expect that you will also be inspired and the Hill City Church will be an active and thriving congregation here in Hill City now and for many years to come.