A Message From Pastor Craig

Paul was a toe dipper. His faith in God was intellectual. He cared more about enforcing rules than he did loving people. Then one day he had a direct encounter with Jesus. The light he encountered made the sun look like a 40-watt light bulb. Paul was as blind as a bat for three days. He managed to stumble to Damascus and was baptized. He could see again. But something better happened: Paul had a new vision. He was no longer a toe dipper. He jumped into following Jesus with both feet.

The endless trips across the rough seas. Keeping one jump ahead of the authorities. Giving his spiel on windy street corners to some yokels who didn’t even know the language. People letting him down. Sometimes the depression was so great he couldn’t move the pen across the page. Jumping in with both feet doesn’t mean life isn’t always easy.

He planted churches all over the Mediterranean. His letters to his churches and his people make him the most widely read author in human history and there isn’t even a close second. He saw God do the most amazing things in him and through him. It’s what happens when you jump in with both feet.

I’m grateful to serve with hundreds of people who continually demonstrate what it means to jump in with both feet. The Water’s Edge remains in a strong financial position. Our giving so far in 2022 is $1,147,938 and is up 8.2% over the same period last year. I’m not aware of many congregations in Omaha or beyond who are experiencing this kind of increase. Our capital campaign giving so far in 2022 is $1,214,284. The three-year Welcome Home campaign is 28% complete and 43% of the pledges have been received. These are numbers of a congregation who are jumping in with both feet.

WE do need to increase our budgeted expenses significantly in 2023 for four reasons:

  1. WE hired a new full-time pastor for our children’s ministry.
  2. WE made a $30,000 commitment to serving the Miller Park neighborhood.
  3. The size of our building will grow from 28,000 square feet to 43,500 square feet and our building / facility expenses will increase accordingly. The expansion should be ready next summer.
  4. The building inflation for the expansion has been significant and to be responsible stewards, we are paying construction interest out of the annual budget.

Our leadership team and generosity teams have done an excellent job of balancing being fiscally responsible and visionary. Two teams who understand what is means to jump in with both feet.

I encourage you to complete your pledge care and turn it in during worship on Sunday, November 20th.  As you complete your card, I want you to ask the question:

“Am I jumping in with both feet?”