A budget is more than columns full of numbers. A budget is a story, and at Ridglea Presbyterian Church, our annual budget is one way that we “tell the old old story of Jesus and his love.”
A narrative budget is a way of talking about the future needs of the church to carry out its mission and ministry. It’s a different way of organizing (but not a replacement for) our “line-item” budget that lists columns of numbers under the heading of different departments such as “Property”, “Personnel”, “Worship”, and “Education.” Our narrative budget focuses on the three ways we plan to continue our mission of changing lives for Christ.
This December, celebrate the season with Fort Worth Opera and and experience the magic of Gian Carlo Menotti’s ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors.’ This 45-minute, one-act opera tells the story of a wondrous star, three wise kings on a journey to Bethlehem, a mother with a heart of gold, and a disabled young boy named Amahl, who learns that compassion and a generous spirit can truly work miracles.
A collaboration with Ridglea Presbyterian Church, this 45-minute, one-act family opera is part of FWOpera’s renewed commitment to fostering collaborative partnerships and bringing opera out into the community. With its glorious music and inspiring message of forgiveness and redemption, this Christmas classic is a perfect holiday treat for the child in all of us.
The curtain will rise on Sunday, December 10, at 3 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, call 817-732-3388.
Dear friends in Christ,
I came home from church yesterday morning with a full heart. Our All Saints Day worship was a true testimony to the resurrection hope we have in Jesus Christ. You surprised me and blessed me with a wonderful reception marking the fifth anniversary of God’s call to us as pastor and congregation.
And then I saw the devastating news about the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.
Less than 24 hours later, I’m still struggling to name my own emotions. I’m incredibly sad for the families and friends of those who perished. I’m furious that these events continue to happen in our nation. I’m feeling so very fatigued by all of the mindless rhetoric that fills the airwaves and news feeds.
And truthfully, I’m frightened. When I look at the faces of the saints of FBC Sutherland Springs, I cannot help but also see your faces, and the faces of my own wife and children. In coming days, your elders will be reviewing RPC’s security procedures. The word pastor is derived from the word for shepherd, and shepherds protect the flock. Yet it grieves me to the center of my being to know that even the most careful plans cannot immunize us from evil.
In my prayers this morning, the Spirit reminded me of Ephesians 6:12:
For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
The Spirit reminded me that these “cosmic powers of this present darkness” want us to be afraid. They want us to be angry. They want us to arm ourselves and turn on one another. They want us to be numbed and desensitized to violence. They want to sow chaos and discord among us, and they will do anything to stop us from doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with our God.
I was also reminded in my prayers this morning of the lyrics to a song called “The Change.”
And I hear them saying you’ll never change things
And no matter what you do it’s still the same thing
But it’s not the world that I am changing
I do this so this world will know
That it will not change me
Let us not yield to cosmic powers of this present darkness, dear sisters and brothers.
Let us refuse to be paralyzed by fear or hardened by cynicism or numbed into indifference.
Let us refuse to meet violence with violence or hatred with hatred.
Let us bear testimony with our words, our actions, and if necessary, even with our very lives to these truths:
Goodness is stronger than evil.
Love is stronger than hate.
Christ is risen, and all will be well, all will be well, all manner of things shall be well.
RPC is responding in a number of ways to the needs of our neighbors who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. We are joining with Presbyterians across the nation to stand in the GAP.
Give – This Sunday, September 3, we will collect a special offering for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. One hundred percent of our gifts will go to support the work of recovery and rebuilding. (PDA’s yearly operating budget is supported by the annual One Great Hour of Sharing.)
Act – As a congregation, we have set a goal of making 500 Hygiene Kits that we will send to support the work of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. In order to ensure that we have enough supplies, please go here to select from the list of items and bring them to church by Sunday, September 10. We will assemble the kits on September 17 and 24 between services. Stay tuned for other opportunities to act in the near future.
Pray – We continue to pray daily for God’s mercy and healing for all of our neighbors who have suffered through this terrible disaster.
Join us as we kick off our 2017-2018 program year with Rally Day this Sunday, August 27!
Then join us for our Rally Day Fellowship Luncheon in Currie Hall as we break bread together! We’ll also hear a report from our Property Negotiating Team as we prepare for a called congregational meeting on Sunday, September 10.
Join us as we celebrate and serve together!
Ridglea’s summer Sunday schedule begins June 4!
9:00 a.m. – Sunday School
10:00 a.m. – Worship in the Chapel
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
As you may have already heard, late yesterday afternoon, we received verbal notification that QuickTrip intends to exercise its option to cancel the contract to purchase the real property of Ridglea Presbyterian Church.
Per the terms of the contract, QT must notify both the church and the title company in writing before the inspection period expires on March 6, and we expect to receive that letter very soon. As far as has been communicated verbally to us, QT’s reasons for canceling have nothing to do with Ridglea’s performance under the contract, but nonetheless, they have determined that it is not in their best interest to proceed. Per the terms of the contract, QT will be refunded all but $10,000 of their earnest money, which will be forwarded to the church from the title company once the written notice from QT is received.
This evening, the session of the church met to digest this news together, and there were decidedly mixed emotions in the room. Some elders were disappointed and angry, some expressed relief, and still others a sense of fatigue. All felt frustration on behalf of the faithful leaders in this congregation who have once again invested an incredible amount of their own time, energy, and professional expertise into this endeavor.
However, we also noted that nothing has really changed except for our expectations about what was potentially going to happen in the near future. Ministry and mission in the name of Jesus Christ continues at Ridglea Presbyterian Church, just as it has since the congregation first began considering this question nearly four years ago, just as it has since the congregation was chartered nearly 75 years ago. This is not now nor has it ever been a conversation about closing or dissolving the congregation. It is and always has been a question of which option is the best stewardship of the abundant resources that God has poured into this ministry.
As the elders who have been called by God and elected through the voice of the congregation, we believe that the upcoming season of Lent is an excellent time for all of us to take a step back from these issues and breathe a little bit. To that end, we are calling the congregation to join us in a Lenten season of prayer, reflection, and discernment. We call you, in your own prayer life during this upcoming season, to be intentional about asking “the God questions:” God, is this your will; yes or no? What are you guiding us to be or do?
In late April or early May, we will be calling the congregation to discuss our next steps and where God might be calling us to go from here. In the meantime, let us pray for the willingness to surrender our own expectations and presuppositions.
Let us be open to the leading of the Spirit, remembering the wisdom of the Proverbs, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Let us be gentle with one another, remembering the admonition of the Apostle to “rejoice with those who rejoice” and “weep with those who weep,” and “so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
Let us remember that there is nothing, neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation that can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
With God’s help, we continue to strive to fulfill our ministry in obedience to Jesus Christ, under the authority of Scripture and the guidance of our church’s confessions, and we seek to serve you with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love. As always, we are here to listen and to pray with and for you.
Your servants in Christ,
Dear Ridglea Family,
The session of Ridglea Presbyterian Church calls the congregation to meet on Sunday, January 29, at 12 noon in the Sanctuary for the annual meeting. The purpose of the meeting is as follows:
- To receive a “state of the church” report from the session, including a report on the church’s 2016 financial performance and updated financial projections for 2017.
- To receive a report from the Ridglea Presbyterian Church Foundation regarding its 2016 financial performance.
- To hear a report from the nominating committee and elect officers to their respective boards.
- To act upon on a recommendation from the session for a change in the pastor’s terms of call, effective January 1, 2017.
This meeting shall fulfill the requirements of G-1.0501 of The Book of Order regarding the 2017 annual meeting of the congregation. Following the meeting, we will adjourn to Currie Hall for a fellowship luncheon.
Your servants in Christ,