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Last Sunday we kicked off a new five-week series, The Table. Each Sunday we will look at a different encounter Jesus had at a table with others. Please decide now to join us for the rest of these messages. I believe God has many blessings waiting for us around the table.   

In this week's email, I want to address something that is absolutely important as we follow Jesus and participate in the life of Mountainview. Please take time to read it.   

Our annual budget planning process has begun at Mountainview. Most of you are familiar with what we call our Annual Budget Planning Commitment Cards. For over a decade, we have been using these cards for planning our budgets each year. The information provided by the use of these cards helps our finance team determine a fairly specific projection of what the church's income might be for the upcoming fiscal year. This projection allows our leadership to faithfully "live within our means" as we prepare an expense budget for our local and global missions, staffing, ministries, capital improvements, and mortgage debt reduction.   

Practicing generosity is an important rhythm for every Christian. We have found that our commitment cards provide all of us an opportunity to consider our own finances and generosity. It's possible that some may decide to begin giving to Mountainview for the first time - even if it might be challenging to do so. For others, it may be time to consider adjusting what is given.   

Certainly, we need everyone to practice generosity with our church, but I hope you know generosity is much more than providing for our church budget. The way we think about money is extremely important as followers of Jesus. How we think about money and how we use it has the power to undermine our love for God and our desire to serve Him.

Here's what Jesus said about it: 

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money. Matthew 6:24 NLT  

One assumption many people make is that the leadership only talks about the subject of money when the church is in financial trouble. This is not the case at Mountainview, which is a very generous church. Our history shows that sacrifice and generosity are part of our DNA. Mountainview is making a difference.   

Starting this Sunday, we are asking everyone who considers Mountainview their church home to communicate your giving intentions for the next year by using the link below. This confidential form and the information you provide will only be used for planning purposes. If you prefer, cards will be available Sunday on your way out of the Worship Center, or in the church office.   

I'm excited about the way Jesus is changing lives around us. Join me and pray for the work He is doing, and look for opportunities to partner with Him.    

2023 Commitment Card:  

I'm aware that some of you who are reading this email may be new to Mountainview and giving isn't even on your mind at this time. I'm also aware that for many of us, our monthly living expenses have increased while our income has not. Others may give and have not considered the purpose behind giving. Regardless of what category you might fall in, I've listed some important passages from the Bible to help us think about giving and generosity.   

Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full--pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. Luke 6:38 NLT  

Then he said, Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own. Luke 12:15 NLT  

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 NLT  

The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. For he laid the earth's foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths. Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord's blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior. Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob. Psalms 24:1-6 NLT  

Remember this--a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving--the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words! 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 NLT  

Grace & Peace,

Pastor Tom