As you have surely experienced by now, this is the time of receiving in abundance. No, I don’t mean an abundance of Christmas gifts, I am talking about the abundance of mail asking you to consider donating to “the cause.” As overwhelming as it can be, I enjoy selecting the 3 or 4 organizations that our family will support with an end-of-the-year gift.
But then I thought, “Hey, why not send out a letter to all the folks connected to Camas Friends and see if whether they’d consider giving an end-of-the-year gift to our Church as a way to support our ministry and help us with our final budget crunch?”
So that’s what I’d like to do. Will you consider a gift in this way?
As you know our budget has hit some rocky spots this last year, and we’ve struggled to take care of our basics. We very well may end the year with a deficit as we have for the past few years now. There are many reasons for this, but the bottom line is that if we are to continue to be a stable meeting in the future we need help doing it.
However, despite our recent financial struggles God continues to grace us with a vibrant church that continues to grow and expand its reach out into the surrounding community. It is clear to me that God is moving among us and guiding us into the future. Consider only a few of the highlights from this past year.
We celebrated 75 years of being a Quaker community in Camas, WA, where many of our old familiar faces and our new friends came together to celebrate the impact our meeting has had in their lives. I found this to be a wonderful and joyous time, reflecting back on God’s faithfulness in the past, and looking to where God may be leading us into the future.
Laundry Love continues to thrive and make an impact in our community. This past week we were able to give 24 people clean clothes. There were people who came with the clothes they could carry on their backs, and others who waited two weeks to have clean clothes from the last time we were there. This is such a powerful and important part of what we do in our community – plus, it’s a lot of fun. We are grateful to the many people both in our meeting and around the country (and Great Britain!) who send money to help us do this ministry.
Other highlights: Our weekly Soup and Bread meetings and newly formed older youth meetings. Our summer camp called “Peace Playhouse” continues to be an integral part of educating our children in the way of peace and conflict resolution. And Godly Play offers our children a great way to enter into the biblical story in a way that is consistent with Quaker values and practices.
You might also like to know of a couple facts about our online presence. Our website – camasfriends.org – averages about 23 visits a day, it’s been visited 8,212 times this year, and almost 23,000 times since we first put it up in July 2009! There are 245 posts on the site and loads of information about who we are and what is happening in our church! We also have a podcast that is accessible through iTunes and can be streamed online. It currently has 37 people who subscribe to our weekly messages! Finally, our facebook page continues to be active and a great way to share with the broader community what we are up to. We now have 244 “followers” on there. This reflects the growing connections we are making, and the increasing interest in the Christ-centered Quakerism we represent.
I could keep going, but before I lose you, I hope you sense how excited I am about where we are and where God is leading us. I believe that this coming year is going to be a very positive year in terms of what we do together as a church, and our finances are a part of this.
Thank you for considering not only giving a one-time gift, but being a regular part of the support of our work at Camas Friends.
Here are the ways to contribute financially:
You can do so on our website – http://camasfriends.org/contribute/ You can mail a check – 1004 NE 4th Ave, Camas Friends Church 98607 All giving to Camas Friends is tax-deductible.
Christmas greetings to you and your family,
C. Wess Daniels – Released Minister
Carolyn Myers – Presiding Clerk
Joy Williams – Treasurer