At its last meeting the Session approved the creation of a youth minister auto expense fund. It came about at our realization that in the course of her work Maggie was putting many miles on her car transporting our youth without reimbursement for gas or vehicle wear and tear. As a Session, we decided it was an oversight on our part not to have a reimbursable account in place, so the decision was made to correct that with a temporary fix for the remainder of the budget cycle which ends in June 2012. The personnel committee intends to recommend a budgeted amount in our next budget cycle for travel, much like you have approved as a congregation in my own salary package. But we'd like to start sooner than that... which is where you may come in.
As you consider the myriad possibilities available to you during this season of giving, perhaps you might choose to help us fund this new account between now and the end of June. If you'd like to give, you can write a check and designate it to "Youth Minister Auto Expense."
The account works as a reimbursable expense. Mileage is tracked and then reimbursed according to the IRS standard (currently 51 cents/mile) which is adjusted each year to account for the reasonable cost of operating an automobile.
There are, of course, many ways in which you may choose to give in this season of giving. The mission department currently has a display in the entryway of the church that highlights a number of ways you may choose to give to mission agencies that have proven ideas and faithful stewardship practices. They include local and far away ministries to which many within the congregation are already committed. Some examples:
St. Andrew Honduras Mission trip: Next summer, July 12-22, a group from St. Andrew will take a mission trip to an orphanage located in Honduras. Friends of the Orphans (NPH) provides a permanent home for children who have been orphaned, abandoned, abused, or shuffled from one family member to another. Our objectives for the trip are these:
In order for this trip to be possible, the team needs to raise $1400 for each adult and $1100 for each youth. If you'd like to support this trip financially, you can designate a check to "St. Andrew Honduras trip."
We are also currently collecting unwrapped toys, books, and games for the Salvation Army giving tree. The deadline for receiving these is this coming Sunday, December 11th. You can bring your gifts and leave them in the baskets under the tree in the entry way.
You can find examples and catalogs of other possibilities on the display that you might consider:
All of these gifts are tax deductible, which is an added benefit as we near the end of the tax year.
Thank you for the generous ways in which you live your lives not only during this season, but throughout the year.
Chuck Sigars is currently an elder at St. Andrew and a newspaper columnist and author.