As a part of our Stewardship Invitation for 2024, you are invited to review and consider these thoughts from our church leaders.
A word from Kim Ballard, Board Vice Chair
Sunday, November 12
I’d like to share some thoughts on the third “T” in this year’s stewardship invitation.
In the treasure-rich society we live in – HOW CAN WE GROW IN GENEROSITY THROUGH UNDERSTANDING THAT WE ARE “STEWARDS” OF GOD’S TREASURES – AND NOT OWNERS OF THEM???
The Bible urges us to “tithe” – or share 10% of our resources – but is that before taxes or after taxes…and is that all to the church or to all non-profits.
It doesn’t matter how you count it – it matters most that you take the first step on the journey – and that first step may be as simple as figuring out what part of your resources you’re currently sharing with our church – and then setting a goal to increase that number.
Don’t just think about percentages – think about perspective.
- Is your giving relative to your standard of living???
- Is your giving relevant to your life as a disciple???
- Is your giving representative of your commitment to Christ???
The headline of a major newspaper article screams – JUST HALF OF U-S HOUSEHOLDS GIVE TO CHARITY – which is a continuing challenge for the church – so how do we address it???
We can’t address it if we don’t connect generosity to the mission – when our church makes us aware of a need or a mission – our church responds.
Generosity through stewardship is a concept that has to do with many things beyond money – we have more opportunities than you can count on all your fingers and toes –
Outreach opportunities like INTERFAITH, THE FOOD BANK, FAITH MISSION & FAITH REFUGE, COATS FOR KIDS, RISE AGAINST HUNGER, YOUTH MISSION TRIPS, CHILDREN COME FIRST & YOUNG AGES SCHOOL, OFF-SITE & ON-SITE VBS & TRUNK-OR-TREAT, DISCIPLES CROSSING, TURKEY DELIVERY…and the list goes on-and-on
Generosity through stewardship is in our DNA – God loved the world so much that he gave us his only son…we are designed and designated to be givers.
Next Sunday – November 19 – is Celebration Sunday here at our church and we hope as many of you as possible will return your estimate-of-giving cards for the 2024 annual budget. They were mailed on November 9th – along with a letter from Dr. Bender – and we can receive gifts via all the popular 21st century methods – online…through the mail…dropped off at the office…placed in the offering plate…via automatic withdrawal…or by legacy gifts.
Since time, talent, and treasure are on loan from God – maybe we should give them away with unlimited generosity – as we shepherd every person to encounter the abundant peace of Christ…and I hope to see each of you at the celebration lunch after church next Sunday.
A word from Sandra Ross, Board Chair
Sunday, November 5
Good morning – one of my favorite authors is Matthew Kelly, and he suggests that we should give something away every day to cultivate the habit of generosity.
It doesn’t have to be money or material things. It could be: 1) complimenting a stranger…2) teaching someone how to do something…3) spreading a positive message…4) helping someone who’s in a hurry…or 5) simply smiling at someone generously.
The generosity habit rests on this singular truth: talent-sharing helps you live a life of staggering generosity, too.
- Generosity makes us HEALTHY – generosity can reduce blood pressure…lower the risk of dementia…and reduce anxiety and depression.
- Generosity makes us HAPPY – sharing our time, talent and treasure gives us an emotional boost…and it triggers feel-good chemicals.
- Generosity IMPROVES our relationships – the recipient expresses high levels of satisfaction – and so does the giver.
- And generosity EXTENDS our lives – volunteering dramatically reduces mortality rates.
So, how can we identify and deploy our talents for the generous benefit of others???
I believe we receive something in return when 1) the gift of our talent helps a child discover faith for the first time in a pastor’s class…2) that a heart is moved when a church surrounds a family in tragedy…and 3) that baby dedication is not just a one-time event, but a dedication for the years that follow.
Souls are fed – and not just those that receive – but also those that do the giving, and we thank you for taking part in this life-changing work in our church.
Between today and celebration Sunday on November 19th please give prayerful consideration to how you can share your time, talent and treasure for the mission and ministry of our church in 2024.
Finally, since our time, talent & treasure are on loan from God – maybe we should give them away with unlimited generosity – as we shepherd every person to encounter the abundant peace of Christ.
A word from Jerry Johnson, Stewardship Ministry Co-Chair
Sunday, October 29
HOWDY – last week after our fellowship lunch, a church friend asked if it was about time for some stewardship thoughts this year, and I told her she was just one week early… but today’s the day.
Over the next three weeks, you’ll hear more stewardship thoughts on the effective use of our time, talent, and treasure. Next Sunday, Sandra Ross will share some thoughts on how to use your personal skills or talent habits in our church ministry. On Sunday, November 12th, Kim Ballard will offer some options about how your treasure sharing can benefit our church in 2024. And this year, on Monday evening, November 13th, we’ve added one more event where you can grow your knowledge of legacy planning and charitable giving – when our own church member Abigail Craig with Crossvines Financial will answer the question “What’s Your Strategy” at a 7:00 pm desserts-will-be-served event.
Finally, Sunday, November 19th, is Celebration Sunday when we ask that you return your Estimate of Giving Cards for the 2024 general budget, and we’ll all gather for a chicken lunch in the Fellowship Hall with all the trimmings.
Today we’re talking about “TIME” – and the primary question is –
“How can we ensure that the TIME we give “works” for God’s good in this time-crunch culture we live in today ???”
TIME is one of our most valuable resources because once it’s gone, it’s gone for good.
We have more TIME stewardship opportunities at our church than you can count on all your fingers and toes – outreach opportunities like Interfaith, the Food Bank, Faith Mission & Faith Refuge, Coats for Kids, Rise Against Hunger, Youth Mission Trips, Children Come First & Young Ages School, off-site & on-site Vacation Bible School & Trunk-or-Treat, Disciples Crossing, turkey delivery…and the list goes on-and-on.
Let’s make our TIME-generosity a habit again – sharing our TIME wisely…as well as our talents or abilities…and our financial resources for the good of God.
And in Luke Chapter 10, we find a great example of the “three-t’s” at work all in the same bible story…because the good Samaritan gave of his TIME to help the injured man on the road – gave of his talents to tend to the man’s wounds – and gave of his treasure to provide for the man’s care and lodging.
We always conclude these stewardship moments with the “grow-one” challenge – asking that you each prayerfully consider increasing your estimate-of-giving by one percent of your income each year…but what about doing that with each of the “three t’s”???
Consider increasing your TIME commitment to our church by one percent in 2024.
Consider increasing your talent commitment to our church by one percent in 2024.
And finally, consider increasing your treasure commitment to our church by one percent in 2024.
Since our TIME, talent & treasure are on loan from God – maybe we should give them away with unlimited generosity – as we “shepherd every person to encounter the abundant peace of Christ.”