Greetings From Pastor Lyn
Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
Today is the first official day of fall (9/23) and even though temperatures will be in the high 90’s yet this week, the promise of cooler air, colorful leaves, shorter days and longer nights is right around the corner.
Fall is one of my favorite seasons (I have 3 other favorites). Each season holds its own lure, its own opportunity, its own challenge. In the church, the first Sunday in October will mark the beginning of the annual Stewardship emphasis. Stewardship seems to perpetually signal more challenge than opportunity in the church because most think the church is simply after more of one’s time and money. But I know you are aware that Stewardship means much more than time or money. Stewardship is the management of every aspect of our lives from eating and exercise to bills and investments; from the health and well-being of our bodies to the health and well-being of all creation.
Toward the end of I Chronicles King David offers praise to God as he recounts his life and reign as king. I Chronicles 29: 14-19: “But me—who am I, and who are these my people, that we should presume to be giving something to you? Everything comes from you; all we’re doing is giving back what we’ve been given from your generous hand. As far as you’re concerned, we’re homeless, shiftless wanderers like our ancestors, our lives mere shadows, hardly anything to us. God, our God, all these materials—these piles of stuff for building a house of worship for you, honoring your Holy Name—it all came from you! It was all yours in the first place! I know, dear God, that you care nothing for the surface--you want us, our true selves—and so I have given from the heart, honestly and happily. And now see all these people doing the same, giving freely, willingly—what a joy! O God, God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep this generous spirit alive forever in these people always, keep their hearts set firmly in you. And give my son Solomon an uncluttered and focused heart so that he can obey what you command, live by your directions and counsel, and carry through with building The Temple for which I have provided.” The Message.
Stewardship is a joyful thing – a unique opportunity to give back in significant ways. The theme for 2020 will be 85 & Forward in Faith. Emanuel will celebrate 85 years of faithful ministry. We want to celebrate that event but also we want to dream big about what God has planned for the next decade and beyond. You will receive a giving card the first week of October with a few new options. You’ll see that the additional options all have to do with the 85th anniversary year and we hope these will encourage you to personally move forward in faith in accepting one or more of the listed opportunities. For your pondering in anticipation of receiving a card the options are:
1) Increase your pledge by 8.5%.
2) Give an additional $85.00 a year, a month, or weekly.
3) If you typically do not pledge, but give regularly, consider pledging for the first time or pledge to increase your non-pledge by $85.00. If you pledge for the first time the council has established a 1:1 match.
4) The last new option is to pledge to give something regularly. Even $8.50 a week or a month establishes a meaningful spiritual discipline.
God is good and God is faithful. We know that and we trust that, whatever God has planned for Emanuel, God wants us to be fully engaged in that plan and eager in our support of it as we move Forward in Faith.