“Serve each other according to the gift each person has received, as faithful stewards of God’s diverse gifts.” 1 Peter 4:10
Fall is upon us. Kids are back in school. Pumpkins and Halloween candy are showing up in the grocery store. Leaves are beginning to change colors. And it is the season when we in the church typically focus on stewardship. Although we tend to think about stewardship as the time of making financial commitments to support the church budget in the coming year – the whole “pledge” thing – we hope this year to broaden our thinking a bit.
Merriam-Webster defines stewardship as “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.” In the Bible, we are shown that our lives are not our own. Our lives are on loan from God—regardless of whether we acknowledge this or not—and God calls us to steward everything about our life for God’s glory and the good of others. God provides all that we need, and we give in response to God’s provision. Stewardship is about the joyous discipline of thanking God with the way we live our lives and spend and share our money.
Each week during 2019 Stewardship Emphasis Season, you will be offered a series of questions to help you reflect on a different aspect of stewardship as it relates to you as part of GPPC: the rewards of giving, how you experience God through relationship with GPPC, and what you want to see God accomplish through the ministry of GPPC. And we will share stories of faith and giving from members of the congregation – “faithful stewards of God’s diverse gifts” – to celebrate and educate about opportunities for stewardship and service within our community and beyond.
So, as you think about stewardship this year, we hope you will acknowledge that it is about faithfulness and gratefulness to God, not obligation to the church. And we hope you will see that the church’s annual budget is about ministry and mission, not dollars. We encourage you to think about how you might “Serve each other according to the gift” you have received from God. Your financial gifts in support of our church’s budget and your support of the church with your time and talents, when combined with gifts of others, allows us to serve God through GPPC in a way no individual can. We invite you to join us this Stewardship Emphasis Season as we celebrate our gifts, commit to sharing generously and using our time and talent to further the kingdom of God through the ministry of GPPC in the coming year.
Amy Clark, Steve Reppert, Makara Meth, Alfred Walker, and Margaret Lucas Jacobs
2019 Stewardship Team