The ultimate huddle

To fill out the commitment card online: click here

Dear StoneBridge members and friends,


Our community of faith has a solvable, financial dilemma and your action is needed.


Most important information:

StoneBridge has been experiencing a shortfall of $10,000 per month for several months and

it requires increased giving or decreased staffing in order to be addressed.


We need to know from you:

Will you or your family give an additional $10 a week ($40 a month) above what you are currently giving starting in January, 2020 and continue for at least six months after the new pastor arrives?


If you were not able to attend church on the weekend of December 7/8, much of what follows is a reiteration of what I shared at meetings held after worship services that I called The Ultimate Huddle.


  • If every family attending services will increase giving by ten dollars a week, StoneBridge can confidently sustain its current staff, programs and ministries. 
  • If a substantial number of us do not, or cannot, increase giving, then staff reductions will assure the church’s sustainability.
  • By raising congregational awareness now, church leadership can make the necessary decisions to effectively prepare for our church’s future with a new senior pastor, a renewed vision, and a greater outreach.


Following the What’s Next? meetings held last Spring, a valued take away was continued improvement regarding communication with the congregation. In the spirit of honest, straight forward transparency, I want to report to you the trends that our staff and Elder Board have been monitoring, the precautions taken, and how our church can be confidently sustainable in the current season of pastoral leadership transition.


The financial data now clearly indicates there have been two significant events in the life of StoneBridge in the past three years that triggered declines in giving. The first was the launch of the three-year, REACH capital campaign. We can celebrate together that at its conclusion, the REACH campaign successfully raised $1.2 million of the $1.4 million originally pledged. However, regular tithes and offerings given to the church’s general fund -which finances the month to month, day to day, ministries and operations of the church- started to decline. While we anticipated some decline in this giving, the decrease was more than we expected. 

In fact, for the first time in a decade, monthly income fell beneath monthly expenses. Additionally, when Pastor Jeff announced his well-deserved retirement, the giving shortfall became even more exaggerated.


Church staff and elders identified and monitored these trends which lead to two significant financial precautions. The June, 2019 – May, 2020 budget was decreased by 7% from last year (or $69,000). Additionally, in an effort to exercise fiduciary stewardship, our staff has even reduced monthly ministry expenditures by 10% below the already reduced budget. Unfortunately, cutbacks like these inevitably have a detrimental effect on StoneBridge’s redemptive presence in our community and in our world – church facility projects are being deferred, marketing and outreach have been scaled back, and even our local and global mission initiatives are being placed on hold.


And yet, despite these precautionary efforts, there continues to be a monthly shortfall of $10,000 a month.


There is good news! We have a very tangible way forward. If every family in weekend worship services gives an additional $10 a week above what is already being given, the financial gap will be closed. So, with the welfare of our family of faith in mind, prayerfully consider and decide…


Will you or your family commit to give an additional $10 a week ($40 a month) above what you are currently giving starting in January, 2020 and continue for at least six months after the new pastor arrives?


Commitment results will be reported in January. Then, beginning in February, a month by month, running total will also be reported.


Pastors and elders are willing and available to address questions. Feel free to call the church office (805) 526-5475 or email


While StoneBridge is in a season of leadership transition, as interim pastor, it’s my responsibility to help elders clarify concerns, communicate challenges to the congregation, and take confident steps forward. With God’s help, we will succeed together. Thank you for your prayerful consideration.


Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. The Lord goes before you and will be with you;

the Lord will never leave you nor forsake you.  Deuteronomy 31:8



Pastor Neal