Tag Archives: Giving

Disaster Relief Update: Hurricane Michael

As of 12:00 PM EDT, October 10:

Church of Ministries has contacted Pastors Ken Love (state pastor for Florida), Tim Teague (chairperson for the General Assembly in Alabama) and Mike Claypool (regional pastor for the Carolinas) ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Michael. Lines of communication have been established and we are now awaiting the onslaught of this storm. Please join us in praying that this major storm will pass through quickly with a minimum of damage. After having seen the devastation of Hurricane Florence (thankfully, Church of God congregations in the Carolinas did not experience major difficulties in that storm), we anticipate extensive wind and water damage across the region. Continue reading

A Year of Living with Less: Ohio Pastor’s Family Accepts Radical Challenge

The Deeter family.

By Carl Stagner

No more trinkets or toys. No more new clothes or that pair of shoes you’ve just got to have. No more DVDs, home décor, or kitchen appliances—even if they’re on sale! Absolutely no more trips to the department store or the mall simply to browse the selection—that would be too tempting. Josh Deeter, pastor of First Church of God in Tallmadge, Ohio, and his wife Emily, accepted the challenge early this year to make 2018 their “year of living with less.” The goal: to stop buying things for an entire year. Don’t worry—they’re still buying deodorant, tooth paste, food to eat, and necessary items that break. Half-way through the year, they’ve learned a lot about themselves, how much God has truly blessed them, and that living with less can mean living for so much more. Continue reading

Missions, Generosity in the DNA of Wyoming Congregation

Photo: One of many Highland Park mission teams.

By Carl Stagner

When missions and generosity are uttered in the same sentence, Highland Park Community Church in Casper, Wyoming, is one Church of God congregation that immediately comes to mind. These values are a part of the church’s DNA, as evidenced by over half a century of giving way above and beyond regular tithes and offerings. While the church’s missions budget of over $500,000 and financial support of more than thirty missions projects is impressive, it’s the heart of numerous individuals and groups within the congregation that astounds the most. The perspective of a few of these individuals sheds light on why the state’s largest church, of any denomination, chooses to invest so heavily in what God is doing around the world. Continue reading

Truth, Love Preached and Practiced at Pastors’ Fellowship 2017

Photo: Pastors’ Fellowship 2017

By Carl Stagner

Another Pastors’ Fellowship has come and gone, yet its impact on those who attended, the movement, and the culture remains. As it always does, this year’s gathering of pastors and laypeople at First Church of God in Winchester, Kentucky, featured dynamic doctrinal preaching and wholehearted singing of heritage hymns. The fellowship was as sweet as the iced tea, and the moments of prayer were powerful and potent. What really left a lasting impression, however, was the way these men and women of God responded to the Spirit. When word got out about the devastating floods wreaking havoc across Missouri, directly affecting Church of God brothers and sisters, God’s love turned into action. Continue reading

Creativity, Generosity, Boldness Characterize Easter Celebrations

Photo: Lord’s Supper drama at First Church, Inverness, Florida.

By Carl Stagner

As a pinnacle in the church year, some might get the feeling that it’s all downhill from Easter. But perhaps Pastor Paul Strozier of Madison Park Church of God in Anderson, Indiana, said it best last year in an article he wrote: “The baskets have returned to the attic, the plastic eggs are being recycled, somewhere in the house there is at least one purple Peep left unconsumed—at least until the toddler finds it…But can we really let the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ wait a whole year to be acknowledged and celebrated again? Easter never ends for the follower of Jesus Christ…Imagine how it might change our homes, our families, and our communities if we lived every day with resurrection power, hope, and joy.” For Church of God congregations across the country, Easter has only just begun! Here’s a look at how churches observed Easter week. Continue reading

South Korean Chooses Generosity Over Knee Surgery

Photo: Pastor Moon and his wife with Bokja Lee (center).

By Carl Stagner

If you’ve ever stood in need of knee surgery, you know the kind of pain she was in. She’d saved approximately $17,000 (US) and used it all. Every last penny. Today she’s still in tremendous pain, but not because the surgery was unsuccessful or because she’s on a long road to recovery. She decided to forego the operation, but not because it was too risky or because she got cold feet. Instead of using the money for herself, she was impressed by the Spirit to give it all away. Bokja Lee chose to support a building project in the Philippines over paying for knee surgery, and she puts up with the constant reminder every day. This is the story of her radical generosity. Continue reading

Children of Promise Establishes Endowment with CHOG Foundation

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Photo: Art Clawson and Kirk Bookout celebrate the new endowment.

By Carl Stagner

This year, Children of Promise celebrates twenty-five years of forever changing the course of children’s lives around the world. Since the beginning, more than 12,000 children have received nutrition, education, medical care, and spiritual formation because of the child sponsorship ministry of the Church of God. Kicking off a year of celebrations that will give God glory for the past twenty-five years—and looking ahead to what God will do over the next twenty-five-plus years—Children of Promise established an endowment with the Church of God Foundation. The Sidney and Jean Ratzlaff Johnson Endowment will enable transformational ministry to continue for generations to come, all the while honoring the legacy of two exceptional individuals. Continue reading

Olympia-Lacey Children’s Ministry Joins the Movement

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Photo: Children on the move at Olympia-Lacey block party.

By Carl Stagner

There’s no question the children’s ministry at Olympia-Lacey Church of God in Washington State is a part of the Movement. After all, it’s a part of Olympia-Lacey Church of God. But there’s another kind of movement taking place among us; a movement within the movement. It’s that movement which is presently making waves across the Church of God and inspiring the young to set an example for the young at heart. Continue reading

Florida Youth Set Example of Generosity, Fight Trafficking

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By Carl Stagner

When it comes to wrestling the great injustices of the world, students are often those first in the ring. Longing to authentically combat problems with more than just talk, their generosity and willingness to serve cannot be understated. Looking ahead to Freedom Sunday 2016, leaders of the state youth convention in Florida took things in a different direction. Believing in the potential impact of our students on the rest of the faith community, they issued a fundraising challenge too good to pass up. Continue reading

Faith Promise: Embark on a Spiritual Adventure

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By Carl Stagner

Money unusually attained, deliberately retained, surprisingly regained, or intentionally maintained. For some it might be a tax refund or a holiday bonus. For others it might be an unexpected gift or a time of fasting from eating out. All are just a few of the ways Church of God people have met and surpassed pledges to give back to the Lord through a spiritual adventure known as Faith Promise. Beyond regular tithes and offerings, Faith Promise offers the chance to exercise faith’s muscle and walk with God into the unknown, believing he will provide. As you help your church reach its goal, the Lord might lead you to step out of the boat, but rest assured! On this adventure, participants find themselves walking on water. Continue reading

Disaster Relief: Church of God Responds to Syrian Refugee Crisis

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“Where is justice?” “Where is stability?” “What can I do?” The body of the young Syrian boy washed up on the beach this past week and the thousands of refugees attempting to cross into the European Union challenge us and demand our attention, provoking questions. Continue reading

Virginia Beach Church Celebrates Mortgage Burning

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Photo: Former pastors join Steve Roby as they burn the church’s mortgage papers.

By Carl Stagner

On Sunday, May 17, a huge burden was lifted off Water’s Edge Church of God in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Witnessed by the gathered saints, Pastor Steve Roby, and two previous pastors, financial prison doors were opened to a future of flexible ministry freedom. Accompanied by shouts of praise and thunderous applause, the church’s mortgage went up in flames—literally. It was a trajectory-altering moment in the church’s history that deserved nothing less than a pull-out-all-the-stops celebration. The entire congregation celebrated with worship, ceremony, and a barbecue feast that followed. Though they ate well that afternoon, reaching such a noteworthy milestone was no piece of cake. Continue reading

Christ’s Birthday Observance: A Reason to Rejoice!

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Thank you for joining Christian Women Connection in the 2014 Christ’s Birthday Observance as we rejoiced in the birth of Christ. Together we prayed with, and for, each other through Project Prayer. We spent time in devotion and thought through the Meditation Journal. We celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ through our gifts by generously contributing to the Christ’s Birthday Observance Offering. Thank you for your prayers, devotion, and gifts. Christian Women Connection is forever grateful for the wonderful ways you and your congregation have supported the Christ’s Birthday Observance Offering and the ministry of the women in the Church of God. Continue reading

Ohio Church Holds First-Ever Faith Promise; Smashes Goal

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Photo: Pastor Eddy Howard rejoices (left) as Ron Baker announces the total Faith Promise commitment.

By Carl Stagner

New to the church, one member of a northeastern Ohio congregation wanted to know what would happen to offerings designated to missions. One Sunday, this congregant approached the treasurer, whose blank stare indicated unfamiliar territory—the church had no mission account. Discussion about the faith promise concept followed, and as a result, a faith promise week was scheduled for the fall. Continue reading

Radical Generosity: FL Church Raises $162,000 for Local, Foreign Missions

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Photo: Mayor Eugene Fultz, of Lake Wales, Florida, expresses publicly his appreciation for the generous community service of HighPoint Church.

By Jack Hilligoss

“We need to give away more money this year than we ever have before.” That declaration, by one of the elders of HighPoint Church of God in Lake Wales, Florida, came in the late summer of 2013. It was the beginning of a year of extraordinary local impact.

The church leaders were struggling to assemble a budget for the coming year and find the dollars that were needed. The biggest ticket item was the mortgage on a new building they constructed in 2008. Often during these difficult budget meetings, the statement had been made, “Just think what God could do with that $144,000 we spend annually on the mortgage.” Continue reading