It is definitely feeling like fall now, isn't it? I had a great time last weekend seeing old friends in Philly at my college reunion. Nothing like catching up with folks you haven't seen in a while.
If you missed Elaine Crowder's testimony from worship last Sunday, make sure you catch it. She sure is an inspiring woman. She talked about the joy of serving Christ and giving financially to His work.
Many of you this week will receive or have received a letter from our Generosity Chair Libby McCammon. Libby reminded us that Oct 29th is our consecration Sunday, where we bring our 2018 estimate of giving cards to the church and dedicate them to the Lord. For some of you, filling out this card is a no brainer, something you do each year with joy as an expression of your discipleship to Christ. Others of you perhaps find it difficult to make a financial commitment to Christ.
My first financial commitment I ever made was when I was 19. I was at a Christian concert and the artist made an appeal to support Compassion International, a Christian ministry to help children in other countries have education, food, and to learn about Christ. It was $20 a month. It seemed like a huge amount at the time but I answered the call. It was one of the best investments I ever made. For 12 years till my child in Brazil graduated school, we wrote letters to one another, Christmas cards, etc. It brought me such joy. When she graduated I got another and we still support children through Compassion. It was a risk at the time but I found I didn't miss the money and I was a part of fulfilling the great commission of Jesus.
I want you to know that I am a tither. You need to know that. My family will fill out a card to Central UMC for 2018. Kate and I have sought to teach our children about money and to put God first in our finances. I encourage you, if you haven't completed a estimate of giving card before, to test the Lord, fill it out and trust God with your finances. In my experience, I have seen God do things and provide for us in ways far beyond I could have saved for and not given my tithe. I know you will too.
Lastly, in that letter, we included a piece called Finding Your Fit. It lists most of the ministry opportunities available at Central and how to get involved. Sometimes its hard to find your place in a church. What we are asking for you to do in 2018 is to contact an area you may be interested in serving. You may only have an hour a month or perhaps you have a couple hours a week to give back. My prayer is that everyone who calls Central UMC their church home will be plugged in somewhere. The way I look at it, if only have of our people are plugged in and serving, we are only doing 50% of the work God has for us to do.
This was longer than I usually write but I had a lot to say. I do want to say on behalf of Christ and His church, thank you for your faithfulness in giving and in all the ways you serve. Have a great weekend and see you Sunday!