Recently, a representative from our quilter’s group approached a staff member and said something like, “We don’t all need the handicapped spaces in the new parking lot project but some of us do. So, we’d like to give $600 toward the project.”
We were grateful for their participation, for sure. But, what struck me most was what they said, “We don’t all need the spaces, but some of us do. So, we’d like to give.”
Which means this: Since many of them will have no need, at this time, for the spaces, they aren’t giving for themselves. They are giving for those who need.
In a consumer world (we are all shaped in some ways by our consumer world), we give because it will benefit us. In Christian community, we give as a response to God’s love and because someone else is in need.
This Stewardship Season, we are inviting each of you to explore the “why” of giving. Our Stewardship Team has developed a 40 Day Generosity Journey that will launch on October 3 and run through Commitment Sunday, November 13. There will be hard copies available for you to pick up and use throughout the journey. There will also be a pdf that you can download from the website (add the link if we can have it up and running).
A few notes on the resource:
- It is written to invite you into daily reflection (no more than 5-10 minutes) or action on some aspect of the generosity journey.
- You will explore biblical texts, quotes from historic and current thought guides, the stories you remember from your childhood about money, and your own motivations for giving. Three examples:
- On 10/3 you will be invited to read Matthew 6: 25-34 and then make a list of all the gifts of God that you are grateful for.
- On 10/5 you will be invited to think about the messages your parents gave you about money when you were growing up and how that shaped your thinking.
- On 10/27 you will be invited to give a simple gift to someone without them knowing. Some say the highest form of giving is giving without the expectation of recognition.
- Our hope is that in your contemplation about giving (the inward journey) and your acts of giving (the outward journey), your heart is gradually moved, one small step at a time, from a consumer (I give because it benefits me) attitude to a Jesus (I give in response to God’s gift to me, for the sake of others in need) attitude.
A few notes on the process:
- Feel free to invite a friend, spouse, or small group to join you on the journey.
- PLEASE. Think about this as an invitation not a demand. If you miss a day or two, just pick it up again.
- Our lives of faith are shaped by contemplation (the inward journey) and action (the outward journey).
Good News: We can become more generous, more like Jesus!
Commitment Cards, for our ongoing ministry in 2023, will be available for you to fill out any time between October 2 and November 13, Commitment Sunday. (website link) If you have not filled them out by November 13, please bring them with you to worship that day and we will celebrate what God is doing through your generosity journeys.