In a few short weeks we will be having our “10/10” Consecration Weekend.
At all the services that weekend we’ll reflect on how much God has blessed us and then in gratitude and love dedicate an estimate of our projected support of the year 2006 sealed in envelopes and placed on the altar.
After worship you’re invited to a meal hosted by the church as a way of saying “Thanks” for all that God has been doing in you.
This whole process is called “Stewardship.”
It comes from the same meaning a Steward on an Ocean Liner has.
Stewards carefully manage the provisions and look after those in their care with great dedication.
“Stewardship” is simply taking that idea into God’s kingdom.
Through God’s gracious love we are stewards of what we have, enjoy and use to provide safety and survival for others.
Our faith is based on this gratitude in that Christ loved us through death and resurrection so that we might break free of our loneliness and be surrounded by the love of God for all time.
So it’s with gratitude that we accept the challenge of being good stewards of all the blessings given us.
Gratitude is our deepest and most profound response to all that God has done for us.
And it’s out of gratitude that we ask you now to consider how God is leading you to support our fellowship here at Hope UMC.
As a church, we encourage “percentage giving.” That means that out of all the blessings, gifts, talents and graces that you have received, a self-chosen percentage can be returned to do God’s work.
Some start with 2% and 3% and then work every year to add another percent to their giving. Others are able to begin at 5% and 6% and advance from there.
There are some of us who are responding to the challenge of a biblical “tithe”: 10% as our goal in gratitude.
Each and every family and individual needs to prayerfully consider where God is leading them and how they can best respond.
We know that many are on a fixed income and others face unexpected demands.
But others have more than enough and can afford to be “extra-generous” and even exceed a tithe.
Where ever you are, your gift is welcomed and celebrated. And you can be assured that your gift will be used in a faithful and accountable way.
The result of this “Giving out of Gratitude” is that our Finance Team will put together a balanced 2006 budget, and our Council will work to live responsibly within it.
Our “10/10 Challenge” reflects the commitment our Church leaders have taken on themselves to increase our giving by 10%.
This is in order to fund a full time Choir Director as well as all the projected demands on our budget.
The second “10” is the prayerful challenge for some of us to commit to a year of tithing as a Spiritual Discipline.
God has blessed us with an awesome fellowship filled with many wonderful people.
This “10/10” Campaign is just one way to say: “Thank you, Lord. What a great God of Love you are.”
We hope you make plans to be with us on Nov. 5 & 6: Consecration Weekend.
How goes it with your soul? …and what scripture has stayed with you lately?
What would others around you say they learned about Christ from you this week?
Grace and Peace,
P.S. Your generosity has resulted in more than $30,000 being raised for those devastated by the Gulf Coast Hurricanes. We are also sending relief supplies to Pakistan and India. Please make out your checks to Hope UMC (www.hopeumc.com) and mark the memo: “South Asia Earthquake.”