Because of Your GENEROSITY!

These words now have a very familiar ring in our heads. We have heard them consistently in worship and you should have received a brochure with a personal note from a member of the Stewardship Board, with those words on the brochure.  
 
There has been a sense of dread over the years about October/November being stewardship campaign time. The Stewardship Board has labored to come up with some creative slogan and campaign to move people to give more. The members have dreaded being asked to give more. I have even heard people say they had made other plans on Stewardship Sundays because they didn’t want to be in worship when we talked about MONEY! People either didn’t want to feel guilty if they couldn’t give more, or they had come from an environment where money just wasn’t talked about and it was an uncomfortable feeling.
 
The Board of Stewardship has been very intentional this year about celebrating stewardship year around. Yes there has to be a Sunday where it holds the focus, when we share encouraging words about the work of the church and the Sunday we make our commitments for the year. But the church does not spend money just once a year, so it certainly makes more sense to talk about how we raise and spend money more than one time of the year.  
 
The members of this church, over the last six months, have shared incredible experiences about how First Congregational has changed lives. We have either supported programs they have witnessed where lives were changed, or they have been personally touched by the work and generosity of this church. These experiences have been important because we generally do not get to see firsthand the benefits of the money spent by the church. We don’t see the faces of the women at the shelter when they receive a bag to carry all of their belongings in. We don’t see how the educational materials ordered and used by Adult Ed enhanced someone’s spiritual journey. We don’t see the person who takes a respite in the Student Lounge from a long walk, just to get a bus pass. We don’t see the face of the family that receives the best meal of the year when it’s delivered on Thanksgiving Day. We don’t see the tears of those who are able to memorialize their homeless friend who died, at the annual Memorial Service for the Homeless. We don’t see the confidence that is built in the young person who gets an opportunity to perform in front of the congregation a couple of times a year. We don’t see the relief on a member’s face when they don’t have to prepare a meal for a grieving family. We don’t hear the child who tells their friend that anyone can come to their church.  
 
We may only see, hear or experience one or maybe none of these stories. But they are not stories, they all happen! The ministry of this church is wide, deep and long. When you consider your pledge of money, time and talents this year, consider all of the faces and lives you will change. All of us have the ability, through the gifts we have been given, to give hope to another one of God’s children. Because of your generosity. . .it can happen!  
 
~ Eldonna Hazen
 

Posted on November 5, 2013 at 11:34 am in Featured Content.

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