Dear Church Family,
Our stewardship campaign has kicked off with the theme, “Joyful Giving.” Usually, when we talk about stewardship, we use words like giving thanks, generosity, covenant, and spiritual practice. Those are all important words, appropriate words. But there’s another word we sometimes forget to use when we talk about stewardship, a word every bit as important as the others…and that’s joy.
Can you think of a time when you found just the right gift for someone you love? You may have stumbled upon it or perhaps planned it for a long time. Either way, you knew it was something they would just love. You were so excited to give it to them. You couldn’t wait to see the look on their face when they opened it. And when they unwrapped the box or opened the bag, it was just as fun for you to give the gift as it was for them to receive it. The giving of that gift touched your heart so deeply you never forgot it. It connected you and the recipient in a whole new way. This year’s stewardship campaign offers us that same joy and connection. Have you ever heard of a Secret Santa gift exchange – in which each person does kind things for another without the recipient knowing the identity of the giver? We’re going to do something similar this October – Secret Stewards. Each of you will receive the name, address, and email information for a family or household in our congregation. Your mission (and I hope you accept it) is to do something kind for your Secret household…without letting them find out it came from you! Maybe you’ll send some flowers or leave balloons on their doorstep. Perhaps you’ll leave them a meal or send a note or card by post or email. Maybe you’ll let them know you’re praying for them. It can be any little thing that would bring a touch of joy to someone else’s day. Because when we bring joy to the lives of others, we almost always bring joy to our own.
We also have the opportunity to share joy with our congregation and the world. You have already been giving joyfully through your financial support of our church’s mission in our community and in our world. The Stewardship board and I would like to thank you for the contributions you have made. We have been able to do important work because of your gifts. We would like to ask each family to prayerfully consider making a pledge for your financial giving for the coming year. Of course, we understand that life circumstances can change. Please know that pledges can be adjusted at any time. Pledging will simply allow us to see where we are and plan for where we might go. Your giving will allow us to continue and even grow our missions of caring for our children and youth, utilizing and sharing our facilities, showing forth love and justice, and supporting our community, world, and people in need. There is so much we can do when we delight in joyful giving, joining our gifts together and sharing them with the world.
Thank you again, so very much, for your generous support of our church’s mission and ministry.
Rev. Kirsten Linford