Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Membership and Missions
by Tom Goodman
December 3, 2008

If you've been thinking about membership at Hillcrest, this Sunday would be a perfect time to attend.  On December 7, I will lead the Discover Hillcrest class during a free lunch.  The class is for those who want to become members, and for those who just want to learn more about Hillcrest.

While I teach the adult class, Karen Raulie teaches "Discover Hillcrest Kids" for children ages 8-12, and Jim Siegel teaches "Discover Hillcrest Youth" for students in grades 6-12.  Childcare is provided for children under the age of 8.

Pre-registration for the class is encouraged but not required.  You can register by contacting the church office.  Encourage others to attend with you, too!

Support International Missions.  I hope you'll join my family in giving to the cause of international missions this Christmas.  The "Lottie Moon Christmas Offering" that our church promotes each December is named for a Southern Baptist missionary who served in China in the late 1800s.

Nicknamed "Lottie" by those around her, Charlotte Moon was born to a wealthy Virginia family in 1841.  She began her work as a missionary to China in 1873.  Slowly, she overcame her language problems and cultural differences to connect with the Chinese people.  She wrote about her experiences to churches in the United States, and her letters became popular sources of information about Christian mission efforts.

When China was swept by a famine, Lottie suffered this deprivation with those she served, refusing to eat any more than what was available to those around her.  She soon became ill and she was ordered back to the States.  But before the boat left port, she died.  It was Christmas Eve 1912, and she was 72 years old.  Now, Southern Baptists have an offering called "the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering" to honor her service.

Today, our church contributes to the support of 5,193 missionaries through our giving to the International Mission Board.  Last year, these missionaries started 23,486 churches and celebrated 475,072 baptisms around the world.  Their work continues, as over half of the 11,362 people groups worldwide are still unreached, meaning that less than 2 percent of the population identifies with an evangelical church.

It costs $40,866.61 a year to support an IMB missionary, which includes things like housing, food, children's education, and retirement.  About 13 percent of your regular contributions to Hillcrest already go to missions work locally and around the world.  But at Christmas time, we challenge you to give directly to missions through the Lottie Moon Offering.

Weblog:  Check out my blog, "Get Anchored."  Some things to look for...

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