It is difficult to say just when I understood that people give money to the church. I seem to have always known that because my parents modeled faithful giving as long as I can remember. They emphasized that their tithe to the church was more important than money they spend on anything else.
I am not sure that all church members have that example in their lives. Giving financial support to the church for some may be optional or consist of what is left after everything else.
But the prayerful, consistent return to God of a portion of that with which God has blessed us is an act of worship that shows how thankful we are for God’s mercy and grace and the blessings we have in our lives.
It is also important that we give our time and our gifts for service to the church as well. For some that may be all they can afford & to share that with the church is an important part of stewardship.
It would be very difficult for any family to have a plan for the financial portion of their life if the salary the Mom or Dad earned was not known until the pay envelope was opened at the end of the week. The church needs to plan also: for programming, staffing, maintenance, utilities, music and other things, and we use your pledge to do that. That is why it is important to pledge during the pledge drive. We realize that circumstances can change and sometimes members can not meet their pledge, but it is important to say I want to give to God out of thankfulness for all he gives to me.
We are so fortunate to be members of this church. To me pledging means I am part of this community, and I want to show that this church and its goals are important to me. Pledging means I recognize that all that I have and all that I am comes from God, and it is a way to thank God for all God‘s blessings. This church needs and deserves our support. I urge you to prayerfully consider that and formally make a commitment to God through a pledge to First Presbyterian and return your commitment cards.
The real stewardship question is not, then, what the church needs to receive, but what WE need to GIVE in order to express our thankfulness to God. Our operating budget is nothing more - nor less - than the sum total of our expressions of gratitude to God.
All that we have is God's alone - a trust, a gift. How will we express our thankfulness?
Marilyn Van Winkle
When I was asked to speak to the congregation this Sunday, I did not know what I was going to say much less how I was going to say it.
I decided to just be myself. I am glad most of you are stayed seated and did not leave.
One of my favorite quotations about God comes from Voltaire.
God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.
French author, humanist, rationalist, & satirist (1694 - 1778)
Thinking about that quotation, I decided to say what I wanted to say with a little bit of humor.
In the 1970s there was comedian named Flip Wilson and he had just begun a new fall TV show called the Flip Wilson show. I had always been a fan of Flip Wilson.
He played skits made up of characters he created-Geraldine and her always absent boyfriend “Killer” and a preacher named “Reverend LeRoy” who was head of a church called: “The Church of What’s Happening Now”
Now Reverend LeRoy was in the middle of his “Stewardship Campaign” similar to ours. He was in front of the congregation that Sunday morning making his plea. All of the deacons, about 4 of them, were sitting behind him.
He wasn’t wearing an alb but had on a cutaway coat with long tails and light gray spats over his black shoes. A “cutting” figure of an individual. He was about to deliver his message on stewardship. He walked back and forth on the chancel area delivering his message. Let’s listen in.
This church has many obligations and charges in the community to do God’s work. Everyone here wants this church to progress and if this church is going to progress; first it has to crawl. It has got to crawl.
The deacons responded “Make it Crawl, Rev, make it crawl.
The next step for this church to progress: It has got to stand up and walk; it has got to walk
The Deacons responded “Make it Walk Rev, Make it Walk”
The next step for this church to progress: It has got to run; it has got run
The Deacons responded “Make it Run, Rev, Make it Run”
The only way it can run is with YOUR MONEY
The Deacons responded “Make it Crawl Rev, Make it Crawl”
Seriously folks we do need your money to make the church run. Please pledge and pledge generously. God’s work can always use your help.