Mid-Week Message Dec 23

The information provided here is part of the Mid-Week Message sent to members and friends that subscribe to the Mid-Week Message. To access everything each week, please consider subscribing. 

 

Private Zoom Sessions with Pastor Sarah

 

Private 30-minute sessions with Pastor Sarahare available most Thursdays between 10 am and 1 pm.  You can schedule an appointment by clicking the button below or you can schedule with Erica in the church office by calling (505) 856-1004.  

Capital Campaign Update

 

Rebuild, Restore, Renew update

The winners vacation week at the Westin Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, are Jon and Karla Mitovich. Congratulations! We hope you have a great time. 

 

An update on the Rebuild, Restore, Renew campaign. Through your generosity, we have received $77,940 in cash from $107,120 in pledges.  

 

The old coolers have been removed, capped off and the electrical modifications are done prior to the roof work. The roof work has started. 

Nena-Joy is trying to schedule the tree trimming and pine tree removal this month. She is still acquiring proposals on floor repair and working on some of the "smaller" repair needs. 

A prayer for those of us grieving at Christmas


Holidays can be a particularly difficult time for those of us who are mourning. I’d wager that grief in one form or another is present in most of our lives this year… Whether you’re missing someone who died many years ago, braving your first Christmas without a loved one, facing changes or struggles you didn’t anticipate as a result of health challenges or Covid complications, or suffering with the weight of issues facing our nation and world, know that God holds your pain and holds YOU in a strong embrace. May God’s love surround you. May God’s peace that passes all understanding comfort you. And may you know in your deepest being that you are not alone.


Let us pray…


God of Love and Life,

Today, we remember the One who shares our burdens, who shows us the way,

and who journeys with us, wherever our journeys lead.


We come to you this Christmas Season tired, in turmoil, and in pain. As the nights have grown longer, so has darkness grown and wrapped itself around our hearts.


In this season of longest night, we ask your healing blessings upon all that we carry in our hearts --

sorrow we fear may never end, wounds we cannot even put into words.


There are those among us who are grieving over what might have been. Death or loss or terrible hurt has changed our experience of Christmas.


We remember that once it was a special day for us, too, but someone or something precious has gone away from us in this life.


We have lost a beloved, a goal, a cause, a dream. We find ourselves adrift and alone. We are weary from the journey.


We come to you seeking rest and peace. We ask that you shelter and sustain all those of us, both here and throughout the world, who wander or want or weep or are heavy laden, that we may be lifted up in courage and journey on in Thy peace.


We embrace and offer up to you all that used to be which is now lost to us. With celebration all around us, memories of what was, and fears of what may be, weigh heavy on our hearts.


Please hold us close in your embrace, be near to us this night, until the light returns and morning comes.


Amen.


This prayer was adapted from liturgy for “The Blue Christmas” service at the Cathedral Church of Saint Andrew, Honolulu, Hawaii.



Covid Tax Tips


COVID Tax Tip 2020-153, November 12, 2020

With thanks to Pat Gore, Ministry of Generosity


Whether taxpayers are supporting natural disaster recovery,

COVID-19 pandemic aid or another cause that's personally meaningful to them, their charitable donations may be tax deductible. These deductions basically reduce the amount of their taxable income.


Here's how the CARES Act changes deducting charitable contributions made in 2020:


Previously, charitable contributions could only be deducted if taxpayers itemized their deductions. However, taxpayers who don't itemize deductions may take a charitable deduction of up to $300 for cash contributions made in 2020 to qualifying organizations. For the purposes of this deduction, qualifying organizations are those that are religious, charitable, educational, scientific or literary in purpose. The law changed in this area due to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.


The CARES Act also temporarily suspends limits on charitable contributions and temporarily increases limits on contributions of food inventory. More information about these changes is available on IRS.gov.



An Alternative Giving Strategy

 

Since the height of the recession in 2007, stocks have almost doubled in value. If you're fortunate enough to own stock that has gone up in value since you purchased it, you might consider giving some or all of it to the Church of the Good Shepherd. This will not only help finance the mission and ministries of COGS, but allow you a tax savings. 

 

Gifts of securities include not only publicly traded stocks like Microsoft or Wal-Mart, but gifts of mutual funds, Treasury bills and notes, corporate and municipal bonds, and stock in non-publicly held companies. It is easy to give stocks and other securities that are marketable—that is, are sold to the public on stock exchanges or over-the-counter markets. No matter how large the donation, there is no need to obtain an appraisal. The value is simply based on what the stock or other security sold for on the exchange on the day of the donation (the average price between the highest and lowest quoted selling prices on the donation day is used).

 

If you are interested in this type of donation, please consult your financial advisor. Your financial advisor can explain how the potential tax savings works. If after talking with your financial advisor, you want to donate securities to COGS, contact our church Treasurer, George Newby, at cogs.exch@gmail.com. George will need time (about two weeks) to set up the necessary accounts to accept and process the transaction. 

 

Thank you for your support of our church,

The Generosity Team

WHO WE ARE

Our Mission

We are a progressive, diverse community of faith, friendship, and service. We recognize the diversity of human nature as a part of God’s universal plan and affirm all families and relationships founded on love, respect, responsibility, and trust.  

Our Vision

We welcome into the life and ministry of our church all those who seek Truth through Christ’s teachings. We embrace all persons regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, economic status, or personal ability.

Our Values

As a community, we strive to love and support one another on our journey of faith seeking to serve God and walk in the ways of Jesus Christ, as best we can. We are intentionally anti-racist, seeking justice and equality for all people everywhere.