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February Newsletter

Dear Church Friends and Family,

I hope this letter finds you well. As we get ready to say goodbye to winter and look forward to spring, I thought I’d spend a few minutes letting you all know what’s going on at The Bridge Church Spanish Springs.

First, I want to say, thank you! Thank you for your faithfulness in sticking it out with us as we have gone through unprecedented times. You have continued to give your time, talent, and finances to help us continue our mission of building bridges for people to know Jesus here in Spanish Springs. None of what we do is possible without you. Because of your faithfulness we were able to help 10 families at Thanksgiving, provide Christmas gifts for almost 30 kids, and along with that, we have also been able to help some of our friends and families during this tough time.

As we look ahead to the spring and summer, and hopefully the covid restrictions will continue to lighten, we want to get back to having events that not only help us grow closer to each other, but also serve our community. Because we do not know yet what that looks like, we are going to start slow. Instead of planning 12 months or more in advance, we will plan month by month.

March 13th 2021-

We are going to spend a little time out in some of the more used areas of the great outdoors in our community. Saturday the 13th we are going to do some much needed clean up out at Moon Rocks. Moon Rocks is a local recreation area off of Winnemucca Ranch Road. Tens of thousands of people will use this area this summer to ride motorcycles, ATV’s, and other motorized vehicles. People also like to camp and hike out there as well as train hunting dogs and target shoot. Because of the amount of traffic in Moon Rocks it gets messy, especially in the areas where people target shoot. So, on Saturday the 13th we will go out there and clean up some of these areas. Picking up left over targets, casings and anything else that doesn’t belong. If it doesn’t grow, it goes! We’ll meet at the church on the 13th at 10am. We’ll need trash bags (thick ones, 3mil or better), gloves, water, and anything else you think you’ll need while spending a few hours out in God’s country. We will need at least two pickup trucks to haul the collected trash to the dumpster. We already have one committed. Please contact Darin if you have any questions.

May 15th 2021- Attention Ladies!!!

Attention Ladies!!! On May 15th 2021, Aspire Women’s Events is coming to town. We will be taking a group of ladies to this event. Events like these help us get closer to Jesus and each other. We have all had a rough year. I think the timing of this is perfect. What better time to spend a few hours getting re-focused and re-energized? The event will be held at Home Community Church of the Nazarene in Sparks. Yep, you read that right, Sparks. Usually, events like this are out of town. That’s why this is such a great opportunity. The cost for this event is $20. If you’d like to go but $20 is just too much right now, we have scholarships available for any lady who would like to go. If you would like to go, please talk to Marisza Sheldon, either at church on Sunday, or contact her on her cell: 775 846 4915. You can get more info about this event at www.aspirewomensevents.com.

Spanish Springs Elementary-

One of the ways that our church helps support our community is by providing the funds needed for Spanish Springs Elementary School’s Otter Store. The Otter Store is part of their “PBIS”, or “Positive Behavior Intervention & Supports” program. When a student does well, they get an opportunity to choose a prize from the Otter Store. However, SSES does not have the funds needed to support this. This is one of the first things we were able to help with when we came to Spanish Springs and we have been keeping this stocked for about three years. Due to covid, they have not been able to use this, but now that restrictions are starting to ease, they have asked for our help again. It costs about $350 every 3 months or so to keep this stocked. The funds come out of our Community Partnership Fund. We focus on this offering once per month on the same Sunday we share Communion.

Website-

For the past three years we have not had our own website. We having been using a few pages on the Reno Campus’ website, www.thebridgereno.com. When we started our church three years ago one of the first things I did was purchase the domain name, “thebridgespanishsprings.com” because I knew at some point, we would need it. Well, that time has come. With the help of Pastor Tim Hosfeldt over at the Reno Campus, Marisza has started to work on building our website. This will be a great source of information, not only for those who are part of our church but for the community as well. Having our own website will also give us much more control over our live stream. Currently, we are at the mercy of Facebook and YouTube, who at any minute can cut a feed or take out the audio. Live streaming and video became vital last year when everything closed down and from that point on became critical to how we reach people with the Gospel. It will cost us about $600 per year to operate our website.

Our Lease-

Every two years we are required to inform our landlord of our intent to stay or go. This needs to be done by March 1st. Last Sunday, February 21, we had a meeting after church to discuss this. It was decided that we would stay at 150 Isidor. I spoke with our landlord yesterday and he sent me the new lease agreement for the next two years starting September 1, 2021. Our Lease amount will remain the same for 2021-2022 at $3500 per month. In 2022-2023 the amount will increase to $3750 per month. Even with the increase, our landlord continues to be more than fair regarding our monthly lease payment. So, in short, we are staying right where we are for the next 2 and a half years! Thanks to everyone who joined us for last week’s meeting. I was very encouraged after we met. It’s such a blessing to know that even during a global pandemic, our little church in the desert had not lost hope but still seeks to see Jesus proclaimed all through our valley!

             Our Finances-

This part of the newsletter is bitter sweet. It’s bitter sweet because it’s exciting that for the first time since we started our church we will operate under our own budget, meaning money we receive from the people of The Bridge Spanish Springs is the only money we will use to operate. This will begin at the beginning of the second quarter starting April 1st. Yes, this is a very exciting and necessary step in our church’s growth and I know God will continue to use us and bless us. That’s the exciting/sweet part. The part that’s tough, the bitter part, is that we have had to make many tough decisions and many budget cuts. After much prayer, thought, and many meetings we came up with several different budget scenarios that are based on our giving. Typically, when we set a budget it’s for 12 months. However, because of the times we are in we have created a quarterly budget. This means as we end each quarter, we will meet to look at our giving and spending and make any changes needed. Currently the budgeted amount for the 2021-2022 year is $94,950. This number is based off of last year’s giving. When I saw this, I was blown away. I thought for sure that our giving would have taken a massive hit because of having to be closed for a few months. However, that did not happen. I was humbled and proud that God has continued to work through all of us to accomplish His mission. Even though the amount we received is very good, we still need to make some cuts. The largest cut will affect my salary. Starting April 1st, I will not receive the salary portion of my salary package. That’s about a 50% cut. I will still receive a housing allowance, retirement, and my medical allotment. To fill this gap, I have already started working outside the church in the evenings and some weekends. Becki and I are working on getting our custodial business started again. As with all things in life this takes time and money. Even though we are doing this there will still be a substantial shortfall in our personal finances. Because of this, I may not always be as available as I have been in the previous years. Becki and I know that God will continue to provide for our family and are at peace with this. At some point, I have no doubt my salary will be available in the future. But for now, we’ll continue to serve God the best we can. So, please be patient as work we together in doing God’s work in Spanish Springs.

          Final Thoughts-

Remember, there is an entire valley full of people out here, roughly 35,000 who do not know Jesus. out of these people only about 4% have some sort of faith. Because I know God has a plan, I can be at peace with our financial situation. However, there are many people, our neighbors, who are struggling with this very same thing, who do not know Jesus. Because they do not know Him, they do not have this peace that passes understanding. I know I can turn to Jesus in tough times, but they don’t. So, they turn to other things, things that may seem to help but the truth is those things make the situation worse. Maybe because someone has lost some pay or they have lost a job altogether, they can’t make a house payment or get other essentials, leading to a high stress level. And we all know that stress is not good, it changes the way we see the world and the people in our lives. The depression rate in Nevada is at record highs right now, all because of a virus that shut us down and changed our lives forever. Thinking about not having Jesus in these tough times is a scary thought. But for me, it’s only that, a thought. You see, I know Jesus is with us, I know He will take care of any and all needs we have in one way or another. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if I didn’t know that.

I’m sure you have friends, family, neighbors, co-workers who do not have faith in Jesus. Try to see this world, how it is right now, through their eyes and their hearts. Imagine if your hope was placed in only a vaccine, or politics and policy. Maybe they felt secure because they never thought they would lose their job or take a significant pay reduction, but then that happened. Then imagine how it would feel if those things you placed your hope in failed. That would be devastating. That’s why so many people right now are on the edge. That’s why so many people are defensive, scared, frustrated, and lonely.  The state of our world right now is bad. But God is good.

Folks, you and I hold the key. We have the needed information to help others experience this peace. We have a job, and that job is to share the message of Jesus with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Jesus loves your friends, family, and neighbors just as much as you do. The love you have for your children and loved ones is the love Jesus has for that person who lives down the street from you and if you don’t show them, they may never know. Knowing Jesus does not mean all our problems go away. What it means is that when life gets hard, and it’s hard right now, we have hope in a savior who understands bad days and tough times, we have hope that one day, we will be in a place where there is no fear, no pain, no sadness, no sickness. Only a prefect eternity in the presence of the Lord God Almighty, Creator of the universe and everything in it!

John 16:33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

I can’t stress this enough, seek Jesus every day. Seek His will in all things. Pray for your friends, family, and neighbors every day that they may know and have the peace that you and I share. We are part of a great church. God is going to continue to use us. He will use us as The Bridge Church, but He will also use us as individuals. He has put you into the lives of the people you know for a reason. So, be like Jesus, be kind to the immoral, love the cheater, care for those who are not truthful, be there for the self-righteous simply because Jesus is there for you. If Jesus can overcome the world, then he can certainly help you and I overcome anything the world has to throw at us.

Our Finances-

To meet our budget of 94,950;

Needed Weekly Income- $1825.96

Needed Monthly Income- $7303.84

Income as of February 19 2021- $6685.00

Expenses- $14, 844

As you can see, our expenses are high. That will change April 1st. I will provide updated numbers each week as I get them.

I look forward to the coming year, to see how God is going to use us. Have a great day!!

In Him,

Darin

Darin Elquist

Pastor

The Bridge Church Spanish Springs

Cell 775 830 8455

Email darin@thebridgespanishsprings.com ***Make a Note…New Email Address***