The doom and gloom news about all things economy related can be paralyzing. I know it’s impacting many individuals, organizations, and churches as well. I’ll share later this week how it’s impacted my family but I wanted to share how Quest is trying to respond. Last year, Quest was fortunate and just met our budget. I’m not certain how since a) 2008 was the first year we hadn’t numerically grown since the beginning of our church and b) 10% of our church have experienced job layoffs. As difficult as the economic climate may be, this is also an incredible opportunity for the [C]hurch to be a source of care and grace to one another and the larger city and world. Difficult times are when we can demonstrate our substance and convictions of Loving God and Loving People.
Let’s share some ideas and good news. Question:
How are you or your church seeking to care for one another and the larger city & globe?
I recently wrote the following letter to our church sharing how we are stumbling our way to care:
Unless you’ve been living in a cave recently, you know that we’re going through a severe economic downturn. Every week, we hear more doom and gloom news about all things economy related. This city and our church community have also been impacted as well. We’ve seen many in our city affected by foreclosures and many in our church affected by layoffs and financial anxieties. To my estimation, at least 10% of our church have been laid off in the past six months.
But in the midst of this, we’re still called to maintain our faith in God. In fact, the invitation is actually bolder: Grow our faith in God. While it may be hard to see, there’s an immense upside during this economic downturn as well: It gives us at Quest more opportunities to be agents of care and grace to the city, world, and one another.
During our annual Giving Sunday campaign in November, you gave generously towards our goal of raising $50,000. While we didn’t meet the goal, we were darn close at $49,520.06. As we shared with the church community, we partnered with two local food banks at Ballard and White Center because of the food crisis impacting our fellow Seattlites. Couple weeks ago, I had a chance to visit the White Center Food Bank upon their invitation and learned that their clients have increased from 1000 families/month to 2000 families/month! Check out this video from the WC food bank:
Here are some other examples Quest have sought to do and be as agents of grace and care in the past couple months:
- Partnered with a local Karen/Chin churchplant community with $3000 in grocery cards.
- The To the Streets Ministry served 139 people from the ‘homeless’ community over Thanksgiving and continue to build their presence during their monthly distribution and relationship meetings.
- We partnered w/ Q Cafe and Nickelesville for a benefit concert to encourage the Nickelsville Homeless Community and raised nearly $3k.
- Global Market hosted by the Global Presence Ministry raised $3806.21 in December for global causes.
- And each month, our co-conspirators Q Café, donates 10% of their sales to a local non-profit doing great work locally or globally. For this month, the proceeds go to Operation Nightwatch.
And this doesn’t include some incredible stuff that individuals and community groups are doing through the ‘Good Neighbor Fund.‘ The Seattle Times featured Quest in December about generosity. In short, we want to thank you for your generosity and partnership.
But as we seek to love the city and the larger world, we’re also committed to caring for one another during this economic downturn. Hear this carefully and loudly: No one at our church should be homeless, hungry, without electricity, or not have access to certain basic but essential needs. You gave nearly $25,000 specifically to help Questers and we have additional funds in our budget to help those in need. And numerous have asked if the church community is doing ok because they’re prepared to give beyond their normal giving to come alongside those in this season of need. We also have folks that have empty rooms and couches available for you just in case.
In short, this is an opportunity for us to care for one another as well. You’re not alone – We are family and the Body of Christ to one another. If Quest is your home church and you’re in need of some financial assistance, please email Pastor DeAnza at email@example.com. Your request will remain anonymous.
We also want to equip you with resources and community. Last month, we hosted the Faith and Economics depth class and learned about topics such as Budgeting, Credit, Renting/Co-Housing/Buying, Simplicity, Faithful Investing, etc. If you’ve been laid off recently, looking for work, or simply unsure about your vocation, Quest is hosting a ‘Vocational Revisioning’ group for two months on Sundays at 3-4.30pm (@ Q Café and beginning this Sunday). Simply, we want to remind people that they’re not alone. Join the facilitator, J.P. Kang, for fellowship, discussion, prayer, Scriptures, and encouragement. To RSVP or for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org.