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1 CANVASNEWSLETTER What is this? This is a newsletter for CanvasCommunity. A newsletter might seem unusual for a church that does most of its communication on social media, but sometimes the easiest way to send a message is by simply handing it to someone after you ve talked with them. Or leaving it on the table before worship starts. Or letting them pick it up while they re on their way somewhere else. We hope to have a new one ready for you on the first Monday of each month. It will help us gather what we re doing and planning into one place, so people can understand more of what Canvas is all about. It will provide contact information for leaders, to help us all stay connected with each other. Sometimes this newsletter may ask you some questions: Why are you connected with Canvas? How are you living its mission of loving God, others, and yourself? When would you like to get involved in something new that helps reach out and share Christ with other people? Other times it may cause you to ask questions: What kind of church is this? What the heck is #welovelittlerock? When can I get involved in a Bible study? What did I miss last week? Why isn t Tuesday morning art time happening anymore? (We ll give you the answer to that last one right now: It s been moved to Wednesday mornings.) We hope this newsletter will give you more ways to learn, and grow, and share with others what you experience through Canvas. And we hope what you experience is God s love working in your life. By Amy Forbus [1]

2 CANVASCALENDAR 11/9-11:30am-12:30pm Feeding the Homeless 11/13-11:30am-12:30pm Feeding the Homeless 11/25 - Thanksgiving Canvas 12:00pm 12/2 - Advent Begins 12/9-2nd Advent Service Upcoming Events 12/16-3rd Advent Service 12/23-4th Advent Service 12/24 - Christmas Eve Service 12/25 Christmas & Christmas Canvas WeeklyEvents SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY Men s Group: 11am-12pm Women s Group: 11:30am-1pm Band Practice: 2-4pm Leadership Meetings: 4-5pm Worship: 6:30-8pm CanvasArt: 9:30-11pm Midday Prayer: 12:00-12:20 pm Dinner & a Movie: 4:00pm-8pm [2]

3 HARRYPURPOSE I a pretty dangerous confession to make in an inaugural newsletter designed to let people into the inner workings and thoughts of Canvas Community: I love Harry Potter. Dare I say that I love Harry Potter so much -- though not enough to actually read the books -- that I found myself lamenting the end of the movies because I wanted to stay in that world of fantasy forever. I had the same reaction to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, as well as what has been done in the Chronicles of Narnia. For some time I just wasn t sure why, other than the fact that I m in danger of being an overwhelmingly huge nerd. However, it dawned on me one day: Purpose. In each of these stories, in each of these characters lives, in each of these movies and plot lines there is one single undergirding theme: Purpose. Harry s purpose becomes, for some time, the destruction of the personification of all that is evil: Lord Voldemort. The band of warriors, in The Lord of the Rings, finds their purpose in the destruction of the ring -- again an metaphor for evil; and the various children in the Chronicles of Narnia tales all find themselves united in destroying evil and following Aslan. Purpose. I think this is something I lacked for a great deal of my life. I lacked any sort of purpose other than myself; and many of us who have spent our time being our own fulfillment, our own reason for existing, our own end, our own purpose, have found that we are not all that wonderful of a purpose to have. On April 23, 2002 I found my purpose: drawing as close to the God that I had avoided with the most visceral vehemence that I could conjure (mind the Harry Potter reference, conjure ). I have found in God many things, from peace and joy to love and satisfaction, but most importantly I have found purpose and meaning. I have found myself defined and redefined by my relationship to God and God s precious, albeit sometimes painful, love for me. Purpose at Canvas. I suspect many have felt the same purposelessness that I spent most of my life failing to address. We hide behind sex, drugs, music, art, working out, relationships, rogue independence, pride, sports, and our family. But the thought I often find percolating through the dark corners of my mind is: If you weren t, then who or what would you be? If you weren t a mother, father, brother, sister, writer, singer, dancer, employee, employer, son, daughter, partying, drinker, in shape, brilliant, or not so brilliant person...what would you be? What would be left if we stripped every title you held so tightly to as your mantle of definition, and observed you naked and unreservedly vulnerable to who you are deep down inside? This is quite dangerous to to think about; but in the foundation of Christianity, the root of Christlikeness, and the essence of our supernatural connection to the Almighty is the answer to this question; and when we find who we really are instead of who we think we should be or who we are acting like we are, we find who God made us to be...perfect, and full of purpose. This is the purpose of Canvas Community: to be a place where people from any corner of any culture, any level of faith, and any socio-economic stratification can come and learn about what the Almighty has purposed them to do, while being accepted for who they are, where they are, but loved too much to be allowed to simply stay there. By Carter Ferguson [3]

4 CANVASEXPENSESJUN2013- OCT2013 Expenditure by Category 5%2% 4% Worship Dinner & a Movie Insurance Accounting Service Adminstrative Costs 39% 50% Category Worship Dinner & a Movie Insurance Accounting Service Admin. Costs Amount $ 50, $ 38, $ 4, $ 4, $ 2, Why we show you this Churches are infamous for being money holes. How many times have we given money and wondered, What do they use this for? Some of us have even asked to receive no real answers. We believe it to be unacceptable that people tithe or donate their wellearned dollars to churches, but haven t a clue where the money goes, what it s used for, or why it s used the way it s used. It is our desire to always be deeply transparent in regards to where our money goes. Since you are the one supporting us and hopefully finding healing in us, we believe you deserve to approve or disapprove of how we spend our money. So we offer you this admittedly simplified report of what money goes to. Please note that things such as Carter s salary, church rent and utilities are disbursed between Worship and Dinner & a Movie. Without Carter s salary, he cannot be here offering guidance in worship; and without the rent being paid there is no place to have worship or Dinner & a Movie. These two things are vital for our little Community s growth and health. Furthermore, we vow to remain a missional congregation, which means we believe the majority of our expenses must go to ministry, missions, or things that make that possible, not to staffing. Therefore, we make a covenant with our members that at least 51% of our money will go to missions, always. Our current staffing costs are a paltry 1/3 of our yearly expenses. We are proud that our congregation and our church structure is more worried about touching lives than building an army of staff members. We are proud that this tremendous financial structure is enabled by the selfless volunteerism and self-sacrifice of our members, regular attenders, visitors, and fellow United Methodists around our city. The reason Canvas can operate the way it does is because we re made up of people who love God and others over and above themselves. [4]

5 CANVASINCOMEJULY OCTOBER2013 JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER Average Attendance Average Contributors Average Offering $ $2, $2, $1, Average Offering per Contributor AverageOffering per Attender $ $ $ $ $34.90 $40.23 $44.58 $28.32 The reality of Canvas and its finances is a strange thing to explain. Mostly because much of our congregation has so little to give beyond what they themselves need. If we have had 62 attendees, on average, during October, 1/3 of them will have been individuals who live on the street or are near homeless. This clearly affects our intake of offering, though some of those individuals give astronomically more on a percentage basis than even our biggest givers do (think the story of the widow's mite from Luke 21:1-4. Heaven will likely be paved with widows' mites, it was once said). Consequently, we do not have the broad base of heavy tithers that most older, established UM churches have. We are young and vibrant, but we are weak in the area of financial commitment, as is indicated by the Contributors row. Contributors On average, we have only 10 people who give in a financially significant way. In fact, 90% of the money we take in from plate offerings, checks mailed in, and auto drafts come from 7 people/ households. Putting that in a way that is more easily understood (though allowing for a mite of inaccuracy), of the $110,000 we project to receive from plate offerings this year, $90,000 will come from just 7 sources. Now, this might seem discouraging at first glance, and understandably so! But the fact that we re supported by so few households also tells us that we are so far from our potential! There is room for growth, and subtle indicators of it happening now. Offering Per Attender The reason we know there is room for growth is found in October s sudden $300 dive in offering and drop in offering per attender. At first glance it would appear that Canvas as a church is suddenly having a miniature financial meltdown, but look at the attendance number. October had the highest average attendance of any month since July 2012, which drove our average gift per attender way down. Furthermore, nearly half of the attendance in October was made up of visitors, which historically do not give in enormous amounts. Conclusion We can see that in October we ve reached more people who ve never been to Canvas and who, if we will sacrificially love and care for them as Christ has called us to do and as we have vowed to do, will potentially join us in offering love and care to others. At that point, they begin to not only be part of this movement, but perhaps also support as we all continue learning to live out ME:3 - Love God, Love Others, Love Self. Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve... You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. - Martin Luther King Jr. [5]

6 THEFUTURE Input Welcome your requests and thoughts Canvas seeks always to get better; but change is slow. One way we wish to get better is by to: and we will use that to make ourselves better. keeping you informed as to what is going on with Canvas, it s movement into the future, decisions on the Leadership Team, sermon series, worship Leaders Needed Another thing Canvas is in desperate need of is leaders. services, social and ministry events, mission s opportunities, etc. If you have any ideas on how to make this news letter better, particularly in the area of Not doers, but leaders: someone who can inspire and guide others to accomplish a goal for the greater church. We have so much we think we want adding content that you would either enjoy or believe is necessary, please do not hesitate to send us an and let us know. to do, and we think you want to do; but we have no way of knowing what you re capable of or what you want without your telling us. All of your ideas are important to us because you re the people whose lives we want to be part of. Please send all of Therefore we want to invite you to also respond to Carter with any ministry ideas you might have. We believe CANVASCOMMUNITY A UNITED METHODIST CONGREGATION 1111 West 7th Street Little Rock, AR [6] Canvas greatest strength is intense creativity; so please do not hide that from us! Join us in growing our corner of the Kingdom of Heaven.

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