Grace and peace from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I want to invite you to pray with me and consider how you might respond to the Lord Sunday (5/17) as we take a special summer ministry offering. This offering is to cover the expenses of our intern ministry and extra summer outreaches. The summer is a special time for us to extend our ministry of love and the beauty of the gospel to those around us. We believe the gospel makes a difference in us as a church and through us in our city.
Springs of Grace is committed to loving the Lord our God with all of our hearts, minds, souls, and strength; and committed to loving our neighbor as ourselves. An essential part of our carrying out the loving of our neighbor happens through the ministries we do through One Hope and our summer internships.
We felt like there were too many uncertainties to go forward with our internship as normal. The needs are still present and perhaps greater than ever, and the challenges surrounding the pandemic, we believe, can also be an even greater teaching tool for how we do trauma responsive ministry – seeking to help our neighborhood flourish by building resilience and offering real hope that comes through the gospel.
In response to the needs of our community and the opportunity to pour into college students this summer, we are seeking to bring in a smaller number of interns who will partner with our staff (along with our church) for what we are calling the CRT (Community Response Team).
We had 28 great applicants for our internship this summer and had planned to accept around 20 or so. The CRT will be more targeted, and we hope to bring in 13 college students as a part of it. For the last 15 years or so, we have taken a special offering to cover the special expenses of our summer ministry. Normally that happens in late March or April. With the pandemic and the uncertainty – we postponed that and didn’t make the decision to go forward until a couple of weeks ago. And while we are bringing in less interns (only slightly fewer than last year), we have some increased expenses for housing.
I want to ask you to pray with us that God would provide what we need for the summer. We think the need is at least $35,000 and may actually be more than that. We don’t talk about offerings very often, but we feel this is a need that our church family should be a part of. We hope people will give willingly and joyfully and secretly as each one is led by the Lord. In 2 Corinthians 8:9 we read this: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” It is our prayer that the example of the Lord Jesus and what He has done for us will give us hearts of generosity and a desire to give more; not because it is in any way required but because our love demands it.
We want you as our church family and friends to be clear: we will never sell the gospel. We will continue to urge you to give in secret, and we will trust the Lord to supply the needs of His body, including the special efforts of the summer.
The $35,000 plus is in addition to our normal budget needs and we understand that can seem like a staggering amount for what is a pretty small group of people, and especially in a time when the economy is so uncertain. But we believe the Lord has placed these ministries before us and it seems right to pursue Him to supply the means to carry them out.
The vast majority of this goes to pay for intern salaries, housing, and additional summer staff that lead and facilitate our intern and extra summer outreaches. We are not sure what the summer will look like and we are asking the interns that come in to be flexible and responsive to the needs and opportunities as they arise. All funds given to the summer ministry offering are used for these summer expenses.
You can give at our church website here: springsofgrace.church or the One Hope Ministry website here: onehopetulsa.com or you can mail or drop off a check at the church at 7123 East 7th Street, Tulsa, OK 74112. You can also fill out this form and make a commitment as to what you will give over the next three months for the summer ministry.
If you don’t feel led to give, that’s fine – just pray with us (let us know you’re committing to praying here) and pray God will use this to do good to His people and bring glory to His name.