5th March 2015

Special Offering - Sunday 8th March

Jesus said that we should “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Matthews 6 v33).

Everything we are about at City Hope , everything we do and pray, is about seeking more of God’s kingdom in our lives and the lives of others. This desire brings challenges in all areas of life including how we handle our money. To be ‘seeking first his kingdom’ means (amongst other things) using our money as part of that ‘seeking’.

City Hope has a wonderful, rich history of demonstrating financial generosity towards God’s kingdom and God has been faithful to us and used us to bless others on many occasions. In this past financial year alone a significant percentage of what was raised through our two special offerings was given outside of City Hope.

City Hope is a church that wants to move forward, seeing God’s Kingdom extended further both in London and internationally. In recent times of course we have quite literally ‘moved’ by now meeting at HAB on a Sunday. The challenge to keep moving forward means that we again need to look to God and prayerfully dig deep to rise to the financial challenge that ‘seeking first his kingdom’ brings to us in this coming financial year.

As you consider what to give to the special offering on Sunday 8th March please also take time to prayerfully review your regular giving to the church. Please also read through this leaflet which has more information about our finances and how we want to honour God. Many thanks for your generosity.

Looking Back (see pie charts)
As we come to the end of another financial year we can look back with gratitude at God’s generous blessing to City Hope.

Thanks to the many who have given regularly, faithfully and generously to the church, our income for the year has been enough for all of our expenses and with £3000 to spare! Please note that the pie charts show budget figures for March not actual figures (as we haven’t had March yet!)

A huge thank you to everyone who has given (money and time) to City Hope over this past year. Without your generosity we simply couldn’t accomplish all that we do. On top of the regular giving shown opposite we also raised substantial amounts through our special offerings. More about these on the back page.

Looking Forward (see pie charts)
We are a church on the move! We want to see God’s Kingdom extended further than we have yet seen both in London and beyond. Ultimately this is why we have moved to HAB for our Sunday services - because we have a desire to grow and HAB gives us space.

Moving to HAB does increase our regular expenses as the bottom pie chart shows. We also have a desire to increase our commitment to the excellent work of Christians Against Poverty (to help more people get out of debt and find Jesus) as well as strengthening our Kids Club and our Connect communities as they serve others. There is a financial
commitment to doing these things.

All these areas of growth bring a financial challenge to us. Please prayerfully consider if you are able to increase your regular giving at this time to help bring us closer to the 335K expense budget for this coming year.

Initially we will be able to make up any monthly shortfall between income and expenditure by using some of our savings and we intend to use some of the special offering too. Long term though we need to see an increase in regular giving equivalent to our standing orders going from £15,500 per month to around £18,500 per month. This is our long term aim.

God is with us in this and one very encouraging story is that we received a gift of £10,000 to the church from a source outside of our congregation and totally unexpected. God is good! All the time!

This year let us be expectant of more of God’s goodness to us both financially and in many other ways.

Special Offerings
As we have done in previous years we took up two special offerings in March and October, 2014. Just over £40,000 was raised! Well over 50% was given away to world situations such as the needs in Ukraine due to war, West Africa due to ebola and Syria/Iraq due to war and terrorism.

Other funds were given to the church and school we have relationship with in Conakry, Guinea and a portion went to Catalyst the network of churches we are a part of.

Finally some of the special offering was used for our new website (launched in Sep 14) and has covered some HAB costs in the Autumn term.

March and October 2015
This year we are committing 20% of everything we raise through the special offerings to be given away, outside of City Hope. The remainder will be put towards our regular expenses for the year as we look to close the gap between predicted regular income and expenditure. The three causes we want to give to for the March offering are:

Tearfund’s No Child Taken Campaign: Child trafficking is a global problem and Tearfund is doing some excellent work in this area.

Ukraine Crisis: People are still suffering on a daily basis in Ukraine. We will give to Christian Hope Church in Kiev (where Pastor Valery is based) to help the work they are doing.

Benin - Kingdom Clothing: The Newfrontiers church in Benin runs a clothing company that provides employment and affordable clothes for the local community. A gift to them would help them grow and make a real difference in the lives of many more people.

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