Make your commitment!
It is a truly historic moment in the life of GRACE church! For almost two years, our congregation has been praying, dreaming, meeting, and planning – and it is finally our moment to SHINE. Please use the form below to make your commitment.
Over the last 18 months, we have seen God do amazing things at GRACE — more than we could ask or imagine.
He is writing a new chapter in us that is a part of a long story of commitment to Bethlehem and the Lehigh Valley. We believe God is calling us to make an unprecedented investment. To shine the love of Jesus and to invite men and women, boys and girls — for generations to come — to find and follow Him.
During the campaign, we invite you to commit.
- Read about the vision – Use this website to see what we believe God is calling GRACE to do and be.
- Think about it – What would participating in SHINE look like for you—in your specific season of life, with the resources and gifts that God has given you?
- Pray about it – Pray about how God is calling you to give. Use the devotionals and pray individually, and at our daily prayer at 12 noon on our new campus.
- Talk about it – Discuss your pledge with your loved ones – your spouse, if you are married, or your friends. God is calling us to do together what we could never do individually.
If I am committing to give to SHINE, how does this change my giving to missions, the General Fund, and other special offerings?
Giving to the SHINE campaign is an “above and beyond” gift. This means that what you pledge to give is in addition to your regular giving to the church’s operational budget.
We realize that this is a huge amount of money for a fairly new church to raise. But we believe strongly that God is calling us to step out in faith and watch what He can do with our gifts!
Are there additional ways besides cash that I can give more towards the SHINE Campaign?
Yes. Some people have found it to be advantageous to give appreciated assets such as stocks. Additionally, people who are age 70 1⁄2 or older can benefit by giving from their IRA via a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). Your financial advisor can help you understand whether a gift like this could be a good option for you.
How long is my commitment?
Three years: November 2019 – October 2022.
How do I make my pledge to the SHINE Campaign?
You can make your pledge by completing and turning in a Commitment Card on Commitment Sunday, November 10. After November 10, you can fill out your Card or by contacting Sue Knarr in the Finance office (sknarr@gracecb. org or 484-898-8958). She will be happy to assist you.
Here is a sample Commitment Card that you can review prior to Commitment Sunday.
What about the Locust Street property? If we are moving, can’t we sell that and use the proceeds for the new property?
Good question. There are a few different ways we could choose to use the Locust Street property going forward, and selling the property is one of them. However, we have not made a final decision. There is a mortgage on the property, so we would not realize the full value of the sale price. Once the SHINE campaign results are in, the Session will evaluate all possible funding sources, including the sale of the Locust Street property, and will make a recommendation on how we should move forward.
Is SHINE part of the annual campaign?
No. SHINE is a completely separate fund to pay for the campus at our new property. A financial commitment to the SHINE campaign is in addition to your ongoing giving to support the ministry of the Grace Church.
Normally, we would do a campaign for the annual fund in the fall. However, since we are doing the SHINE campaign at that time, we will do the campaign for ongoing ministry funding in January/February 2020. In the meantime, it is important that we all continue to give strong to the ministry fund which fuels everything the church does on a day-to-day basis.
What if I have never given to GRACE Church before? Is this the right way to start?
If you have never given financially to GRACE, our SHINE Campaign is the perfect way to make that important first step! By doing so, you are investing not only in the mission and vision of GRACE Church, but you are investing in your Bethlehem neighborhood and neighbors.
We are not building a church for ourselves only. Yes — it will primarily be a place of mission and ministry. But we also want it to be a community resource, an inviting place where believers and non-believers alike can mix and mingle and grow in relationship. And, ultimately, our goal is that at some point and in some way, every person who walks through our doors will learn about Jesus and feel His love coming from His people.
What if I am struggling with debt right now? Am I still supposed to give?
If you are working to pay off debt right now, congratulations! The Bible very clearly teaches that being debt-free and the financial freedom it affords is very important to God.
However, the Bible does not teach that we withhold giving until we are debt- free. When we honor God first with our giving, He promises to be involved with every other aspect of our finances as well. (See Malachi 3:10-12.)
Please contact us if you need assistance with this or if you would like to speak with a budgeting counselor. We would be honored to help!
Will I be able to change my 3-year commitment if I need to?
Of course! No one can see clearly three years into the future. Situations change — both positively and negatively. You may want to increase or decrease your giving commitment at some point during the three-year pledge period. Therefore, you can change your pledge at any time.
When do we expect construction to begin? How will it affect our current ministries?
As you can imagine, we hope to move forward as quickly as possible. The financial results of the SHINE Campaign will be an important factor for how we can move forward. There are also many other factors that will impact a construction schedule.
Given the information we have available now, we hope to begin construction in July 2020. Once construction begins, we expect that it will take approximately 18 months. This could possibly allow us to celebrate Christmas in our new home in 2021!
We will continue to update the congregation as timelines become more clear.