For in Christ Jesus...the only thing that counts is faith working through love. Galatians 5:6
The church is an odd business. It doesn’t produce a tangible product that you can see, put a price on, or take home with you —like you would from a retail store. The church is more like a personal fitness trainer or a voice coach. With enough training, and the student’s own commitment and practice, the student becomes the product that embodies the coach’s efforts.
This Fall the church is training us in Stewardship. God is inviting us to consider how we will do what we believe.
The simple definition is this: “Stewardship is everything I do after I say, ‘I believe.’” The way Paul puts it in our theme from Galatians is: “The only thing that counts is faith working through love.” The way Stewardship will be defined practically at Calvary is that you will be asked to consider how you will spend your Time, how you will use your Talents, and how you might share your Treasures (your money) with this ministry.
Please take the time to reflect on your Stewardship prayerfully and intentionally—it will shape who you are. When you share your Time, Talents, and Treasures thoughtfully you are changed for the better. Your Stewardship doesn’t just change you though, it also shapes the congregation and those newcomers who join us. As we see each other contributing to the ministry at Calvary, gathering and serving in diverse and real ways, we are encouraged; we want to be present for each other, and each of us benefits from our fellowship.
For all of you are one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
This year we are also asking you to consider an additional step in your Stewardship by contributing to a Capital Campaign. Within the next year or so we need to replace our roof. Have you seen that roof? It is massive, it is a unique architectural structure, and it is old. We need our roof to keep us dry so our ministries (faith working through love) can continue. We also will need some new furnaces soon—so rather than ask for your help to fund the roof alone, we are asking you to help pay for the furnaces while we are at it. And, since we are asking, we might as well tackle our lighting issue—particularly in the Sanctuary. It’s not just your failing eye sight—it’s dark in there! I have a hard time being able to read the gospel lesson from the pulpit or seeing the words when I preside at Communion. I know the lighting is equally deficient in the pews. We need to fix this—not only for our own ease in worship, but for all those folks that we want to see come through the doors and stay.
To make these changes possible we need to ask each other to go above and beyond our yearly Stewardship commitment. As one member put it, “I’m on a shoe-string budget. But the truth is, I can find some expenditure that I could do without each week: A latte, a magazine, something I can give up to contribute to this campaign.”
For my part, I’m thinking about how I might decrease the “impulse buys” in my life; what would be good to give up (a candy bar or magazine at the checkout stand, Coke Zero--oh, that one hurts!, less meat in my diet), and how I might increase my overall giving percentage to the church through this campaign.
So I invite you, as I invite myself, to think about what you can contribute to our “Warm, Dry, and Welcome...All” campaign.
Pastor Lori A. Cornell