Stewardship Sunday – Committing to our Relationship – November 20, 2016
Today is Stewardship Sunday, so today and the next two Sundays are focused on Stewardship. We do this every year so that we can plan our upcoming year 2017 with as much accuracy as possible to support not only this facility, but also our paid ministers and our activities within Good Shepherd and outside Good Shepherd.
What we do here requires us to be not only cooperative with one another but we must be in relationship with each other and most importantly with God. So, allow me to share some of my understanding of what it means to be committed in that relationship with God.
Over my life as a Christian, which began right here at an altar call in 1982, the concept of relationship has become central in my journey with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God calls me into relationship with Him through Jesus and does so by the Holy Spirit. But why? Why not just wave a magic wand, save me and you, and be done with it?
Well, in my reading of scripture and the great Christian writers I have come to realize certain realities:
- God loves us in His own way which is not our way but His way.
- We are not robots; He gives us extreme freedom and yet He leans on us to know His desire for us.
- We are capable of rationalizing almost anything but He has given us a very complete book of instructions….the Bible and He wants us to use it.
- Love exists in relationships. Yes, we can love ourselves but that is more instinctive than sacrificial. But, when we truly love someone else, where we truly desire the best for the other person without any regard for the self, then a Godly relationship exists. This “agape love” is what we see in the Trinity and the love God wants for us.
So, how do we incorporate this in our lives?
- Get into God’s Word, read scripture, discuss it with others and pray on it.
- Pray; we just finished an excellent series on prayer to help us do this. Prayer is our direct line to God; for us to ask and to receive but most of all to get connected to Him.
- Worship communally so that we are able to experience the relationship He wants for us.
- Be active in God’s Kingdom on earth; find out where God is at work and join Him there.
- Volunteer, participate, form relationships and get involved.
- By being generous with your time, talent and treasure you become part of God’s plan which is to reconcile His people to Him in Relationship.
The fact that you are sitting here at Good Shepherd already says that the Holy Spirit is working within you. The Church is the gateway that Jesus left with us to activate His people and to energize them to go out into the world. Beginning here we share our time, talent and treasure and then grow deeper into relationships as we spread out beyond these pews.
If you would like to discuss the specifics of the financial aspects of Good Shepherd I will be happy to do so; just ask me. How and where we spend the money entrusted to us is important to everyone and the Vestry maintains full transparency.
In your bulletin this morning you will find a pledge card; and there will be card in the bulletin each of the next two Sundays; and for those of you who have email you will also get an email from us with a pledge card. However, if you know someone who is not able to be with us or does not have email; please let me know and we will get a pledge card to them. We do not want you to miss this opportunity to participate!
When you have completed the card you can place it in the collection plate, email it to Darlene, or snail –mail it to the church office. But please return it ASAP but no later than December 4.
This is the time of year for all of us to remember:
“All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee”
Finance Committee Chair