November 3, 2020

My last two weeks of October have been very intense — physically, spiritually and emotionally. Beyond our standing and routine boards and committees, here are a couple of highlights I want to share.

Pastor Ed Sammons

For 14 years, twice a year, spring and fall, our office personnel is blessed by having a Week of Prayer presented by one of our SCC pastors across our regions. From October 19-22, via Zoom, Elder Ed Sammons, Lancaster Church senior pastor, presented his messages based on Jonah's book. His biblical, historical and contextualized messages inspired us all as he reflected on this biblical incident questioned by some liberal theologians. Thank you, Pastor Ed, for your messages.

Even though standing committees meet regularly, the circumstances we live in this year make the agenda’s topics relevant and vital. Last week, our Budget/Finance and Executive committees received a report on how our conference has done financially during the nine months of 2020.

Our Associate Treasurer, Kathleen Diaz, and our accounting team have worked diligently to administer the resources received and keep this conference financially sound to fulfill all its financial obligations and responsibilities to employees, vendors and the church at large.

Based on the revenue of this year 2020 compared with the previous two years, the current trend projects that our conference will end this year with 8-10% less in tithe. We all know the reason: many of our members were impacted by less or no income.

Aiming to be good stewards, both committees endorsed a plan for financial adjustments as we approach the new year. The first phase of these adjustments already began by reducing personnel at the SCC office by attrition, and the last adjustments, if needed, will be in the pastoral personnel. Last week, our pastors received an update on our conference's financial position and how we plan to face the upcoming year.

We trust completely that the Lord will continue providing what this conference needs as He has done it in the past. At the same time, we are convinced that He expects from us to exercise prudent judgment and fiscal responsibility to maximize the resources He provides. Please pray for your conference administrators to have divine wisdom to operate within God’s values and ways.

I want to conclude by reminding us to keep our faithfulness to God by tithing what we receive, small or large income.  By the way, God has promised that if we put Him first, He will supply what He already knows are our basic needs. I invite you to read once again Matthew 6:25-34, this time, having in mind the context of these pandemic times. I’m sure you will be blessed.

In His service,

Velino A. Salazar