Years ago, when I was employed as the Parish Assistant at the Atlantic First United Methodist Church, I had a conversation with an inquisitive unchurched young lady. She asked me several questions about the church, which I have long forgotten, except for one. The question I remember went something like this, "Where does the money come from to pay the church's bills?" My quick response, "from the people who are a part of the church," left her wide-eyed and doubting the sincerity of my answer.
As I reflected on the conversation, I could see that people who are not familiar with how the church works might think operating funds for churches come, at least in part, from taxes, government agencies, nonprofit groups, etc. When you think
about it, it does take a lot of faith to build a church building and to believe that there will be funds to keep it going for future years.
Yet, as children of God, we are called to be people of faith. Second Corinthians 5:7 reminds us, “We walk by faith, not by sight." Often times we don't know what is around the corner. We have to walk by faith. And as we step out in faith, we learn that God is faithful and can be trusted.
The Stewardship Committee and I would like to thank you for participating in the ministries of the Oakland UMC by your prayers, your presence, your service, your witness, and your gifts. We thank you for your generous contributions to the general budget of the church and to the mission work of the church. Your generosity has made it possible for us to reach out to countless people in the name of Jesus Christ.
On Sunday, September 16, when you arrive at church, the Stewardship Committee will present you with an envelope containing a giving card, a stewardship form
of service sheet, and an automatic funds withdrawal form (in case you would like to set up an automatic withdrawal). You can take the envelope and contents home and complete at your own convenience. We ask that you bring your completed giving card and service sheet to church on Sunday, October 7, to be brought forward during our service of Holy Communion. Following the giving of the bread and cup, we will consecrate the giving cards.
In closing I would like to share with you the following scriptures from 2 Corinthians: “Each one should give then, as he has decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly. And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause. As the Scripture says, ‘He gives generously to the needy; his kindness lasts forever.’ And God, who supplies seed for the sower and bread to eat, will also supply you with all the seed you need and will make it grow and produce a rich harvest from your generosity.” (2 Corinthians 9:7-10)
And All God’s Children Said,