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Be a Light Christmas Offering

Each year during the Christmas Season Vaughn Forest Church gives above and beyond to special initiatives to further the gospel of Jesus Christ. This year, we are focusing on being a light to our community and beyond through 5 different focuses. To learn more about our “Be a Light” Christmas Offering, check out the video below as Pastor Adam explains how your gifts will shine the light of Jesus to the world around us.

Christmas Offering 1
In Acts 1:8, Jesus tells His disciples “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” With this charge issued to His followers Jesus would launch the greatest movement in world history known as The Church. The men He was speaking to had pretty rough track records up until this point, but with the command to reach the world given by Jesus and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, they would go on to shine the light of Christ to “the ends of the earth.”

Today in 2021, we continue that mission. I am constantly in awe of how God is working in and through His people here at Vaughn Forest Church. Your actions, prayers, and generosity have enabled the kingdom work to continue and thrive in a time where so many others have struggled. Our faithfulness in giving has been extraordinary, and I cannot thank you enough!

However, one of the things that I love the most about Vaughn Forest Church is that our people are never content to just sit by and ride out the wave…we are always looking to what God is going to do next, and how we can reach more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. As your pastor, I cannot tell you how much this makes my heart smile! I truly believe that God is calling us to more, and that we have an incredible opportunity in front of us as 2021 draws to a close and 2022 begins to give sacrificially in such a way that our kingdom impact goes far beyond all that we could dream or imagine.

So with all of this in mind, and with the words of Jesus echoing in our hearts to shine the light of Christ into the darkness of this world, I would like to let you know about our “Be A Light” Special Christmas Offering which will go to five specific ministry initiatives in 2022. Each of these five ministry initiatives are listed and all of the details are in this packet. I would encourage you to take some time to read through these and prayerfully consider how God would have you and your family be a part of this through sacrificial giving.

As always, if you have any specific questions, I along with the other pastors and staff at Vaughn Forest are here to serve you! So, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

Let’s “Be A Light” To This World Together!

Christmas Offering 2

Adam Bishop

The “Be A Light” Special Christmas Offering is a call to sacrificial giving with a goal of $200,000 for five important ministry initiatives, all based on the words of Jesus in Acts 1:8:

 

  • To Be A Light to “Jerusalem” in our immediate community of East Montgomery & Pike Road by sharing and showing the love of Jesus.
  • To Be A Light to  “Judea” in our extended community of West Montgomery through our partnership with Mercy House.
  • To Be A Light to “Samaria” through our ESL ministry with the individuals from all over the world that God has brought to us.
  • To Be A Light To “Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria” every single Sunday with everything that happens on our campus: Next Generation Ministries, Worship Services, Guest Services, etc.
  • To Be A Light to “The Ends of the Earth” with the children who we are adopting in a village in Peru through Compassion International.

Everyone who calls Vaughn Forest Church home is being asked to give sacrificially to this special offering between now and January 31, 2022.

THE 5 MINISTRY INITIATIVES OF THE “BE A LIGHT” SPECIAL CHRISTMAS OFFERING:

One of the most exciting things happening in our community right now is the growth of new families moving into the Pike Road/East Montgomery area. According to state demographics, the city of Pike Road was the fastest growing community in all of Alabama from 2020 to 2021. That is incredible! God has given us an amazing opportunity by bringing so many families within reach of our church. 

The people of Vaughn Forest have already been so faithful to serve our community with no strings attached with the simple goal of loving them as Jesus would have us. Service opportunities at all of the Pike Road Schools have allowed us to impact the next generation with the gospel of Jesus while serving at community events, helping with needs, and praying for our neighbors has shown these families the love of Christ. 

With all that said, and with so much to be grateful for, there are still so many families we want to reach! The “Be A Light” Special Christmas Offering will help provide the resources needed to continue to serve our community in East Montgomery and Pike Road and allow us to reach further still the new families who have moved into our area with the gospel. We want to accelerate and ramp up our ability to be a light in our community!

“Mercy House” is a ministry that was birthed from the New Walk of Life Church sixteen years ago in the Washing Park Community in West Montgomery. Here is an excerpt from their website explaining why they exist as a ministry:

The Washington Park Community in West Montgomery has been a community of great contribution to our country- The literal birthplace of icons of the Civil Rights Movement. The New Walk of Life Church Building was used as one of the planning and transportation operation locations for the Montgomery Bus Boycott. This community has been a catalyst for change. The memories of those changes, the impact that this community has had on our city, state, and nation, have been all but erased by its now extremely high rates in the following areas: poverty, high school dropouts, teenage pregnancies, single women-headed households, homelessness, and concentration in violence and crimes. We don’t believe in shifting poverty or the problems to another part of Montgomery, we believe through God’s power we can eliminate it all together. We believe in and work to build bridges to help those trying to redirect their lives. We believe Montgomery is only as strong as its weakest communities. We are an incubator, a safe place for those desiring to serve and a safe place for those in need of services. We believe the Holy Spirit is moving in this community, empowering and equipping the people living here once again. We rejoice in being a part and working with so many throughout the City of Montgomery to unite and make positive changes. 

Currently, “Mercy House” is pointing people to Jesus through the following ministries: a food pantry, clothing and hygiene programs, children and youth programs, career and education training, and a year-long discipleship program for families in need of housing.

The vision of “Mercy House” is great, but so unfortunately are the needs. This is why the leadership of Vaughn Forest felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to continue to partner with this ministry through our “Be A Light” Special Christmas Offering. We will also be providing serving opportunities for everyone who calls Vaughn Forest home at “Mercy House” in 2022.

Did you know that every single week we have an English as a Second Language ministry that meets here at Vaughn Forest Church? God is literally bringing the nations to our campus! Each week, we have the opportunity to minister to an incredibly diverse group of people through simply teaching them English, which for them is life changing, but while doing so we share the gospel with them, which is a change for eternity. 

In 2021 it has been so difficult to take mission trips overseas. While we have some great trips planned in 2022, we think it is so important to lean into the opportunity that God has given us here in Montgomery to reach the nations and that is why we are leaning heavily into our ESL ministry. 

God has provided a great way for us to be a light to the nations without having to leave our backyard and we do not want to miss out on what He is doing through the ESL ministry. In 2022, we will take the ESL ministry to a higher level and provide many opportunities for those who call Vaughn Forest Church home to serve and see lives changed through Jesus Christ. 

Practically speaking, almost everything that we do to reach our community, area, and ends of the earth starts on campus at Vaughn Forest Church. Almost every single week since we returned on campus on July 12, 2020 after the covid shutdown we have had new families visiting us here at Vaughn Forest, not to mention the thousands of folks who visit us online. God has blessed us in an incredible way over the past year with new families. Our Next Generation ministries grow every single week. Guests mark “first time guest” on their Connection Card each Sunday. Our Next Steps class sees new members join each time we host it. 

With all of that said, one thing that we have to remember is that each Sunday someone who attends on campus or online is giving God one last chance, and we want to be ready for God to use us however He chooses to reach those individuals and our leadership team has identified a few key areas of need. 

So what does this look like practically? I will be going into further detail on this on Sunday mornings, but here is a list of some examples:

  • Improvements to our Next Generation space. Our Kids Check-In area has outdated equipment and we want to make this process incredibly easy for families, especially first time families. 
  • Improvements to our Worship Services. Again, we have equipment that our teams have kept functional long past its expected life span and we need to update and replace several pieces of technology that are crucial to our Sunday morning experience. 
  • Improvements to our Guest Services areas. This includes upgrades such as internal and external signage and other things that make our guests on the weekend feel welcomed here at Vaughn Forest Church. 

What we do here each weekend at Vaughn Forest to point people towards the light of Christ matters. Making these improvements is a tangible way that we can be a light to those around us and will enable that light to shine brighter and farther. 

One of the things that I am most excited about with our “Be A Light” Special Christmas Offering is the opportunity to parter with Compassion International to shine the light of Jesus on a village in Peru. Compassion has an incredible track record of taking the gospel to the ends of the earth and we are honored to get to work with them. 

While praying about what our commitment to Compassion would be, God kept giving our leadership the number of 100 children that we want to sponsor. This is a big goal, but we serve a big God! I truly believe that the people of Vaughn Forest will rise to this call. For only $38 a month we have the opportunity to change the trajectory of the lives of 100 children in Peru. Eventually, we want to be able to take teams down to our village that we are sponsoring so that we can meet these children face to face. What an incredible gift that God has given us to be able to do that!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The regular offering at Vaughn Forest Church is the proportional amount (the full tithe of 10%) that we set apart on a systematic basis and give throughout the year.  From time to time there are opportunities to give in a sacrificial way.  This Special Christmas Offering is one of those sacrificial occasions that stretch us to grow in our faith.  Giving to this Special Christmas Offering should be over and above what you regularly give.

Since the goal is $200,000, this Special Christmas Offering will involve everyone.  Please prayerfully consider sacrificial giving that will stretch your faith.  The precise amount you give is between you and God.  Many in our church can give a $5,000, $10,000 or even a $25,000 gift.  Others will be able to give between $100 and $500.  The issue is not equal giving, but equal sacrifice.  What amount can you give that will stretch your faith?  

You can give to the “Be A Light” Special Christmas Offering between now and January 31, 2022.

Simply go to vaughnforest.com/give. Once you are there, click on “Be A Light Special Christmas Offering” and type in the amount that you wish give. 

 

Yes. Our offering envelopes are postage paid so feel free to drop it in the mail anytime. It will come directly to our office. Just be sure to write “Be A Light”  in the “other” line on the offering envelope. If you wish to mail your check in a separate envelope, our mailing address is:

Vaughn Forest Church

8660 Vaughn Road

Montgomery, AL 36117

Of course!  Since Vaughn Forest Church is a 501c3 organization, there can be tremendous tax benefits for you by giving in-kind gifts.  For information on this type of giving, simply call our financial administrator, Mary Hughes at 334-279-5433 or send an email to her at [email protected] 

All gifts to Vaughn Forest Church, whether via the regular offering or the “Be A Light” Special Christmas Offering, are completely tax-deductible. Your gift will be deductible in the tax year given (i.e., gifts given in 2021 will be deductible on your 2021 taxes).  Please be sure to include your name and address when you give so that a receipt can be sent to you for your tax preparations.  You are not required to utilize a tax deduction for your gift, but it is available for all gifts.

The $200,000 goal was prayerfully set by the Leadership of Vaughn Forest Church.  We believe it is important to set a goal that requires faith while also being attainable.  Given our current giving patterns, we believe this goal accomplishes both of these criteria.

Please pray for God’s guidance as we all give sacrificially.  You will be updated on our giving progress through email updates and during the weekend worship services.  Reaching this goal will be a celebration of what we can do together as we stretch our faith under God’s leadership.