Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations describes five practices of a healthy congregation: radical hospitality, extravagant generosity, passionate worship, international faith development, and risk-taking mission and service. This year’s stewardship emphasis combines hospitality and generosity, the roots of stewardship.
As Dedication Sunday approaches, October 29, the word “stewardship” might make us think only of pledge cards and money. It does involve money, but it’s about something deeper and just as important. Stewardship is living generously and practicing hospitality.
Hospitality, generosity, abundant joy and God’s overflowing gifts to us have often been the emphasis during our stewardship seasons at FPC. Several years ago it was “Living Generously.” We looked at the work of Notre Dame University sociology researchers Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson. They studied generosity and wrote The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose.
After surveying 2,000 Americans and doing in-depth interviews with people in 12 states, they concluded: There’s a direct correlation between happiness and gen-erosity. “The more generous Americans are, the more happiness, health and purpose in life they enjoy,” they found. Jesus’ saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” turns out to be true. Research now substantiates that “Generosity is a sociological fact; in giving we receive and flourish, in grasping we lose!”
Generosity is how we use our talents and abilities in the church, how we practice hospitality, offer encouragement and volunteer our time to help others. Generosity is our willingness to perform acts of caring and compassion.
During October (and a Sunday in September), several elders will present a moment for stewardship during worship, talking about how the proposed 2024 church operating budget will support their areas: property upkeep, administration (ministry/staff), missions, and Christian Education (children/youth programming).
In this time of transition, we are asked to give prayerful consideration to our available gifts and resources, both financial and spiritual, as we make our stewardship commitments for 2024. While we have an interim pastor and search for a permanent one, funding the ministries, missions and programming of FPC depends on us as members to give. To give as we have in the past: faithfully, with overflowing joy and generous hospitality, responding to the abundant blessings that God pours into our lives.
There are three options for submitting your 2024 pledge.
- You can fill it out online here.
- You can fill out the pledge card in hard copy and bring it on October 29 to put in the offering plate.
- If you can’t attend church on October 29, you can mail the completed pledge card or drop it by the church office.
Time & Talent Commitments forms will be sent separately in November.