Presented on November 21, 2021
Good morning, I’m Bonnie Swan, a member of the 2021 Stewardship Committee and the 3rd speaker in our Immanuel Stewardship Drive. We’ve heard from Elaine Simpson, who described her experience of stewardship, and Tom Fairchild, who reminded us of the importance of gratitude and giving out of our own abundance. Because I’m the third speaker, I will echo some of the themes other have mentioned. However, my job is to talk about money. As Tom said, Jesus talks a lot about money, and this is the time of year when we talk about money. – even if we think about it year-round. We said in our letter to the parish that we want to increase pledges AND participation in giving in order to move closer to our goal of relying less on our investment savings. We need to keep the lights on, the bulletins printed, and the building cared for, especially this beautiful, sacred space. That takes money. We also want to use the money that we have to support and expand God’s kingdom on earth through worship, Christian formation, and outreach, to name a few. In order for that to happen, we need everyone to be part of our giving community.
But it’s not just about money, and what money can do. Giving doesn’t come from your bank account – it comes from your heart. And we believe that the act of giving can be transformational for the giver over time. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
So let’s consider the benefits and outcome of giving. I’d like to share something that a friend of ours and a former Immanuel parishioner (and contributor), Simon Jeynes, has written about Christian philanthropy. Simon, a very thoughtful, deeply spiritual Christian, is the founder and Executive Director of Christian School Management, a consulting firm that works with small Christian schools to improve their operations, management, and viability. He has created a framework for his consultants to use in their work. The five principles of Christian Philanthropy are part of the framework, and I think these principles speak clearly to our situation. They are:
Thank you for being a member of the living body of Christ at Immanuel. Please prayerfully consider how you will give of your treasure to our church community. Our ingathering of pledges will take place on Sunday, December 5. Together, we can show that God’s great love is at work in our world.