Our school theme for this year is “Our Help Comes from the LORD” – Psalm 121:1-2. We selected this theme to remind ourselves that although we find temporary security in many people and things in this world, our only true and lasting help is found in God alone. This is true in our work to keep our community healthy and safe in the midst of a pandemic, and it is true in the midst of a significant building expansion project. Our true and lasting help is found not in health and safety protocols and plans, nor rich benefactors and well-crafted capital campaigns; rather in the One who’s right hand upholds us (Psalm 63:8). Indeed, “unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” (Psalm 127:1). Our help comes from the LORD.

That said, the LORD activates and uses His people in the work He does in the world, and in our midst here at Cedars. His work is not merely “spiritual”, it is embodied. This world belongs to God and it matters. We are His instruments, His hands and feet, His ambassadors, His body. Our school mission to “educate and equip discerning disciples of Jesus Christ for restorative work in His kingdom” involves our mind, our hearts, our souls…and our physical bodies. The fulfillment of our mission requires physical spaces where we gather and engage with one another.

You may have noticed that we are in the midst of a significant building expansion project. 🙂

In response to a desire that the LORD put in the hearts of this community, and a discerning process on the part of our Board and leadership team, we embarked on a building campaign three years ago that is nearing lock-up. We stepped out in faith and obedience, and have witnessed the LORD’s help in the activation of His people many times over – including substantial financial gifts and gifts in kind. That said, although we have had donations and bank financing is in place, our building is not “paid for”. We still need people in and outside of our community to respond to the invitation to give financially to complete this expansion project.

In his book, A Spirituality of Fundraising, Henri Nouwen suggests that fundraising is a “way of announcing our vision and inviting other people into our mission” that we may be “drawn together by God, who is about to do a new thing through our collaboration”. It is giving others an “opportunity to put their resources at the disposal of the kingdom.” This is the invitation we are giving to our community.

Later this week (or early next), you will see a sign posting our annual giving campaign goal of $200,000. This is the amount that we need to minimally raise each year to allow us to open and begin using our new gymnasium and classroom space.

We have a few key fundraising initiatives lined up for this year that we will be sharing with our community, but we would ask each of our families to prayerfully consider their response to the invitation to give financially to this “new thing” that the LORD is doing in our midst.

We are thankful for the $2K and two $10K financial gifts we received this Fall. We are grateful for the prior year surplus we will be able to share with our families in December. And we look forward to seeing how the LORD will use events like our Spring golf tournament to raise funds for the building of His kingdom here in this place. And we rejoice, knowing that our help comes from the LORD, Maker of heaven and earth, for whom $200K is no obstacle.

Let us continue to lift our eyes up to the LORD, from whom our help comes!

Shane Nelson