1) One of the most beloved traditions we have at Summit is giving away the entirety of our Christmas Eve Offering to ministry outside the walls of Summit. Past offerings have gone to church planting, non-profit startups, global justice work, strategic initiatives with our global partners, etc. This year I am thrilled to inform you that the Christmas Eve Offering will be used to benefit vulnerable children in our own city through the very exciting work of two churches with whom Summit is forming a committed friendship. The Kingdom Church and Love Fellowship Church, with neighboring locations in the OBT/26th Street area of Downtown Orlando, are uniquely positioned and committed to bringing hope and transformation in their community. Both communities believe you can capture the heart of whole families if you value their children the way Jesus does, so their transformation efforts center on being the church for the children and teens in their neighborhood.
Half of the Christmas Eve Offering will be used by The Kingdom Church to take the final steps in outfitting and opening a 24-hour not-for-profit daycare that will operate out of their church facility and focus on providing top-notch Christ-centered childcare for single moms who are out of the home for work during evening 3rd-shift hours. For many, the employment available to them does not allow for easy access to safe and reliable childcare. The Kingdom Church believes meeting this practical need is an act of love that has the power to build trust and ultimately transform families.
The other half of the Christmas Eve Offering will be used by Love Fellowship Church to finish the renovations of an existing building on their property, allowing for them to finally have purpose-built space for children and teens. They believe (and I agree!) that we can communicate value through environments. Their new ministry environment will transform their church’s ability to meaningfully minister to the families in their church and throughout their neighborhood.
With kindred hearts, we are humbled to be able to partner with these local churches to love and value children who live in often very distressed and vulnerable circumstances. I cannot wait to see what God does with the offering and what other avenues for friendship and partnership will open as a result.
Please, leading up to Christmas Eve services, be prayerfully considering giving something beyond your regular tithe to the Christmas Eve Offering and invite your guests to do the same.
2) As you likely know, we have been working to close the budget gap by the end of the year. The good news is that together we have made great progress. For those who have already been intentionally giving toward that goal, thank you! Your faithfulness to this church matters so much and the impact of your generosity allows for the vision God has given Summit to be more fully lived out.
We are still about $100k behind budget and that deficit, if not successfully eliminated, will have an impact on the ministry momentum we carry into the coming year. We are committed to living within our means as a church, which means if we don’t have the resources, we limit what we do in ministry. A fully funded budget means we get to move fully and confidently into the work we believe God has for us in any given season.
If you are a follower of Jesus and Summit is your church home, I would ask you join me and the rest of Summit’s staff and leadership in prayerfully considering and boldly acting to meet and even exceed Summit’s ministry budget by the end of this year.
Some practical and helpful information: This year, as occasionally happens, Christmas Eve services fall on a Sunday. When that is the case, it is especially important to clarify the intent of what is given during the offering so we can accurately direct what you give, whether toward Summit’s ministry budget, the Christmas Eve Offering, or a mix of the two.
The easiest way to avoid confusion (and to give in general) is through text-to-give. I have begun using this as my means of giving and it is super convenient and actually allows me to once again give in service as an act of worship (rather than mailing a check in). You can set up a secure text-to-give account anytime by texting “GIVE” to (407) 505-5181. On Christmas Eve, text-to-give will have the option to give to Summit’s ministry budget or to the Christmas Eve Offering.
If you have any questions about the Christmas Eve Offering, Summit’s budget, or ways to give, please feel free to contact us and we will quickly get your questions answered. You can always email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the church (407) 897-8130.
Thank you in advance for praying about how you might participate. I am honored to serve alongside you in living out Summit's vision to form biblically functioning communities that reach lost people, connect in Christ-centered relationships, teach truth, serve others, and worship God.