Update On The What If Campaign

Well, for those of you who were here in person on Easter Sunday or watching online, you heard me give an update on our What If campaign. Easter was almost one year to the day since we kicked off the campaign with our Commitment Sunday on April 18, 2021.

Remember that the What If campaign is about our endeavor to pay down and possibly even pay off and completely eliminate our mortgage debt by our 175th anniversary in October of 2024. Our hope is that by paying this off, we will be able to respond even more aggressively to God's call upon our church here in Southport to help those in need in our community, and to truly and deeply share the grace and hope of Jesus Christ with everyone we can.

As of a year ago, our debt was $865,000. In my update on Easter, I informed you that by the end of the month the principal remaining on our mortgage would be under $435,000, meaning that in one year of a three-year campaign, we have paid off almost half of our debt.

However, the last two weeks have proven to be even a bit more fruitful than I had anticipated, so that at the end of April, our remaining mortgage principal balance is actually $418,829, which means that we have paid off more than half of the principal!

Let me just repeat that: A little over a year into our campaign, we have paid off $446,171, or a few thousand dollars more than half of our mortgage debt!

The money to pay off that principal has come from nearly half a million dollars in pledges from our members and friends, and gifts that were given but not pledged, and from fund raisers like our recent shoe drive and Easter peanut butter and chocolate egg sale, and our yard sale last year and sale of What If T-shirts. We also with some of our accumulated budget surplus over the last few years, trying to be good stewards and stay singularly focused on paying this off, have designated a certain amount to the mortgage principal.

By doing all this, so far, we have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest, and months and months in the change in our expected payoff date. We still have $45,000 in our cash reserve and over $195,000 in pledges remaining that we anticipate will come in over the next two years. So we are well on the way!

This update is a celebration of how far we've come in one year! But I want to be quick to say that we can't let up now, we have to make sure not to get complacent, not to think we're there. I think we should keep the pressure on and see how much we can do in this coming year. We've reached a kind of tipping point, but we need to keep tipping!

In fact, I would encourage each of us to consider these ideas: If you haven't pledged or given to the What If Campaign, I encourage you to think about doing so. If you undervalued a year ago what you might really be able to pledge or give, I encourage you to think about what any adjustment might be. If God has been good to you,?I'll let each one of us complete that sentence for ourselves.

I thank you, each and every one, for the support you have given, and the role you have played, in getting us to this point. I hope I have said thank you enough. My gratitude simply knows no bounds! The faithfulness of the people of this church, not just financially but in every way, has truly been unbelievable during these past couple of years. I thank you for supporting this effort, and I thank God for directing us and guiding us.

Grace and Hope to you,

Pastor Duane