This is our stewardship theme for this fall as we look to what God is inviting us to do in 2012. The words come from 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 which reads,
Remember this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.
I love this passage for the many ways it invites us to grow in our faith and grow in our ministry together. It asks us to reflect on how our giving displays a life of generosity. The one who sows bountifully will reap bountifully. The passage invites us to be intentional about our giving, making up our mind without reluctance or compulsion because God loves a cheerful giver. God loves it when we display the fruit of our relationship with God in the joy that comes through giving. And, the passage reminds us of the reality that undergirds our lives: God has provided for us so that we might abundantly share in every good work. We are a gift for many, both within our congregation and in our community and world.
That last sentence is why I like this theme so much. I truly believe FPCY is gifted in many ways; in fact, FPCY is a gift. We have much to share from our faith and our ministry. Our worship, music and concerts are gifts; our Church School is a gift; our remodeled website and interest in technology are gifts; our adult education, our mission projects nearby and far away, our building, our staff, our food pantry – gift, gift, gift, gift, gift. Much has already been sown here to produce such fruit in our present ministry. Now, we are called to share abundantly to continue what we are doing and to expand our ministry to reach out to new places. To that end, our budget goal that we hope to surpass (even in a shaky economy) is $440,000. To share abundantly, we are invited to see even our finances as God’s blessing for sharing the good news of God’s love in real and vast ways.
I hope you will join me in this time of discernment as we continue to be formed into the people and ministry God is calling us to be and do. We are on a journey together to be faithful with all that God has given us. It is my prayer that we can continue to sow bountifully and reap bountifully for the good news of God’s love and grace in Jesus Christ.
Sharing Abundantly Together,