Stewardship 2021: “Return”
The pandemic has touched all of us in so many ways. It has impacted us physically, financially, mentally, and spiritually. It has kept us at home and away from our friends, loved ones, workplaces, and our place of worship. While technology has helped us communicate by voice and by sight, we’ve missed the physical connections we get when we come together to worship and share fellowship as well as to celebrate and to grieve. In a lot of ways, it feels like a time of exile.
Hardship is of course something to which the biblical people of Israel were no strangers, especially as they endured 70 years of exile in Babylon, after which God saw to their return and restoration. Our situation – and theirs – inspired our theme this year, which is simply “Return.” Our study text is from Jeremiah 29:11, which conveys God’s hopeful words to the exiles: “Surely I know the plans I have for you…to give you a future of hope.”
Currently the virus remains at large and the path back is unclear but we as people of faith know our time will come. For now, life goes on and the needs of the congregation continue regardless if we are in the pews or clicking in from our living rooms. And it’s been inspiring to see how in many ways the church’s ministry has grown and become even more important in the lives of members and neighbors. But also, in many ways the needs of our church home are even greater during this pandemic as expenses continue while our revenue from activities has vastly decreased. Despite government aid, your giving will be more important than ever this year.
But as always, we remind you that giving is a spiritual act of discipleship; we urge you to give not just because the church needs your gifts (it does); give because giving is a joyful part of the Christian life. While so much in our lives now seems outside of our control, giving is something we can do to make a difference. As you prayerfully consider your commitment to the stewardship campaign, we hope that you will be mindful of the needs of our church and all that we want to accomplish through worship, programming, and mission. We recognize that members of our congregation have been affected by this pandemic in a broad range of ways. We have great faith that those that can increase their pledge, will do so and we recognize that those that can’t will do what works for them.
Commitment Sunday is November 8
All members have been mailed a Stewardship Packet for 2021, and we ask that all prayerfully consider their giving commitment for the coming year, realizing that it’s an act of faith. We realize that circumstances may change for people, but registering your giving intentions helps our leadership plan for the future financially. We ask that you drop your pledge card by the church after worship (livestream) that day, 11am-12:30pm, and we’ll celebrate with you with donuts! And if you’ve pledged online (see below), please come by just for the goodies!
Pledge and give online!
This year, we particularly want to encourage everyone to register your pledge online, and to set it up so it gets paid automatically through your bank account or credit card. It’s easy! Here’s a quick tutorial and video.