A woman quietly made her way into the sanctuary on a weekday morning, taking a seat in one of the pews towards the back, off to the side. She had never been in our sanctuary. She did not ask for anything. As we chatted together, I learned that she was struggling to live on her limited disability income, especially with rising rent prices and inflation in general. She then reached into her purse, took out a couple of dollars, and placed them in one of the offering envelopes she had found in the pew pocket. She handed the envelope to me.
About two weeks later, she texted me (we had exchanged phone numbers). Have you ever had an eggless chocolate cake? No, I don’t think so, I replied. The next day, she showed up at church with a cake. I’m sorry you all didn’t get to have any but the staff and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
The point is, we tend to assume that people who appear to be in need do not have anything to offer and it simply is not true. The reality is we ALL have gifts to share – skills, resources, insights. God ensured that we would each have some gifts and that we would share those gifts so that we all had what we needed.
Neighboring is not a new theme for us as a congregation. Yet, the focus on serving with, working with, partnering with our neighbors has expanded our view of our fundamental call to following Christ as disciples. Can you begin to imagine the possibilities if we were to recognize the abundance in our community, rather than seeing only scarcity?
Discipleship and stewardship are not separate categories of our faith. To be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ is to recognize the abundance we enjoy, to share that abundance out of our love for one another (relationships), and to experience the joy of abundant life as Jesus proclaimed for us.
In this season of economic uncertainty, it can be challenging to imagine financial abundance. Even as we invite and encourage your financial giving, please know that we are not asking you to give beyond your means. Periodically, it is good practice to reevaluate our true needs in order to uncover hidden surpluses that could be shared for God’s purposes. I pray you will allow yourself the gift of this exercise and discover the joys of identifying areas of abundance you had not considered or imagined. Perhaps you will find that you can maintain your level of giving or perhaps you will discover unexpected resources to add to what you are already giving.
On Sunday, October 30, we will covenant together to support the mission and ministries of our church with your financial gifts. During worship, we will offer our commitments as we celebrate the joy of sharing together as God’s beloved children. All gifts matter!
Cards are located in the pew pockets in the sanctuary and at the Welcome Center. A link is provided below for those who wish to make their commitments electronically.
Beyond that, we are working to compile a robust database of skills and talents represented within our faith community. What are you passionate about? Skilled at doing? Again, these are gifts God has uniquely given you for the purpose of sharing with others.
I pray that you will spend time seeking discernment about sharing your gifts – financial as well as your skills and unique abilities. God truly has abundant plans for us. I pray you will join with us as we live into all that God imagines for us.
Rev. Yvonne Coon