2015 Stewardship Update
This last Sunday we asked our congregation to complete the process of extending their personal relationship with God by turning in their commitment pledge for 2015. I’d like to thank Howard Weiss for his leadership in directing the current Stewardship campaign. And I’d like to thank each of you for your participation in this effort. As you know evaluating the financial commitments outlined in the pledge cards is an important part of establishing a congregational budget for next year. Thanks again for your participation and support.
A key point that Howard made during one of his announcements was the idea of being a cheerful giver. Let’s be honest – this can be a challenge. But it is not a new challenge. Determining how much each member of a church should contribute goes all the way back to the early days of our church when Paul was on his mission to spread the good news. In his travels Paul experienced a new perspective on giving when he arrived in Macedonia. Macedonia was no stranger to poverty in the first century. Yet, Macedonia became known for their legendary generosity. Their generosity was so great that it continues to be a model for giving almost 2,000 years later. The source of that generosity lay in the spiritual wealth of the Macedonians. Paul says the Macedonians were pleased to give. They gave of their own accord, not grudgingly or under compulsion.
The trend of donations (financial and time) received by churches over the last decade is in decline. This is a concern that we need to be aware of at St. Paul as well. But as is indicated in the chart below churches continue to receive the largest slice of donations from Americans in 2014. And in 2014 our congregation continued to generously give their time, talent and financial resources to support ministry. We could not have achieved our mission goals this past year without your support. If you have not turned in a 2015 commitment pledge – it’s not too late. We’ll take them for the next couple of weeks. Thanks for your cheerful giving – and God bless you!