2020: Building on a Vision for the Future at St. John
I am so excited about St. John UMC. We are seeing more children around the church. Our worship continues to be beautiful and dynamic. The wonderful music is filled with joy and hope. We are working harder to connect with our neighbors. This year we have been making a difference in the lives of children, youth, and adults for the sake of Christ through programs like Vacation Bible School, Choir Camp, Lake Ministry, and Mission Outreach. We continue to grow disciples through Sunday school, Wednesday night programs, and Disciple Bible Study. God has truly blessed us.
What are you excited about here at St. John? Next year is 2020 and we are continuing to build a Vison for the Future. We have a rich past here at St. John, and we have powerful opportunities for the future. God is working. This season of Stewardship reminds us that giving is a vitally important part of our spiritual connection. Jesus knew that and talked about money and possessions often. He said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.” (Luke 6:38)
Our giving, however, is not automatic; we have to grow in it. We have to decide to give. Learning how to give and giving with a joyful heart is what God wants for us because it brings about abundant life. Giving gives us great joy, great peace, and great contentment in knowing lives are changed because we gave. Our giving makes a difference.
The question that will be emphasized this year is “What percent of your income does God want you to give in 2020?” Some people do tithe (10%); some people give over a tithe; but many do not and are overwhelmed with the responsibilities of financial stress. God does not want you to be stressed but to have peace in your life. Some people have a lot a guilt around giving or their lack thereof. For some, giving has been haphazard. Some believe their little bit does not matter. The challenge is to prayerfully consider a percentage and then commit to giving regularly, either weekly or monthly. This discipline will bring you a blessing. Start wherever you can: begin giving or step up your giving, increasing the percentage yearly until you reach the 10% or more. The more you give, the more you will want to give. “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” (2 Cor 9:6)
Giving is about letting go and trusting God. It’s about making a difference. May you be inspired to grow and to give as we prayerfully consider the future.
Prayer: Help us, Lord, to catch a vison of the people in this community and this world who have yet to know your love. May our giving make a difference in their lives. Help us to see Your vision for us in ministry in 2020. In Jesus name, Amen
Jody Alderman Sr. Minister, St. John UMC
Here is a sample pledge card.
These will be handed out during the last Sundays of October and brought forward to be blessed in worship on October 27th. If you know you cannot join us then, please be encouraged to fill out a pledge card and mail it or drop it by the office at any time. These financial pledges help us to be good stewards as we carry out what God would have us do in His name in 2020.