Stewardship 2: Giving
It’s fall despite what the weather feels like, which means it’s stewardship season, those wonderful weeks when the church develops the budget for the coming year and seeks financial commitments to support that budget. In my last message I described how Cleveland Park Church sets its budget. Before the congregational meeting votes on that budget in late January, all of us will have the chance to do our part, by pledging to help the church pay its bills.
Why would you want to do that? Here are ten reasons—not necessarily a Top Ten List—in no particular order. One or more may appeal to you.
- You share the congregation’s mission—to nurture love of God and love of neighbor in the world, of course—and want to support it with your giving. Your contribution makes you a vital partner in that mission.
- You’re not quite sure what you believe about God, but you believe that churches help to strengthen our society. Churches and other non-profit organizations are an important part of civil society, strengthening community bonds that benefit even non-members.
- You believe that human beings are better and Christians are more effective when we work together. That’s why we join together as congregations and denominations.
- You grew up in the church and were raised with a tradition of giving. Those are real family values.
- You are grateful for all of God’s gifts and see your donations to the church as a way of giving back. Gratitude is a central value for the Christian life.
- You benefit from the church’s programs and want to pay your fair share to support them. In this sense the church is like public radio or other community services.
- The church is an important builder of a more just and peaceful world, an always-important mission that feels even more important lately.
- You love this old building and its important role in our community. We have stood on the corner of 34th and Lowell for almost a hundred years, a home for community groups and a witness to the gospel in a busy city.
- You are a child of this church and want it to be available for your grandchildren. Or you are new to the church but you want it to be available for your grandchildren.
- Whoever you are and wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here. And that’s worth something.
So those are some reasons to give to the church. But why should you pledge? More in two weeks.
BIRTHDAYS THIS MONTH
EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Socially Responsible Investments, 10/15—Our Board of Trustees is considering a proposal to reallocate our investments according to socially responsible criteria. Please join the Trustees after worship to discuss this important issue.
Poetry Hour, 10/15—Join us from 4-5 pm in the church parlor. Bring one or two poems on a “scary” theme to read and 8 copies to share. Invite a friend! Questions? Le Rowell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dinner and a Movie, 10/20—The Maclean family drew no clear line between religion and fly fishing. Rev. Maclean taught his sons to fish and look for grace. In A River Runs Through It (1992) the boys grow up and the family falls apart. We’ll discuss family, grace, and beauty, with a simple supper starting at 6:30 and the film at 7 pm. Sign up in the parlor or email Dan at email@example.com by Wednesday, 10/18.
Strategic Planning Listening Session, 10/22—After six years, it’s time to create a new strategic plan for our congregation. Please join us from noon to 1 for a session designed to elicit your hopes, dreams, suggestions and questions.
Walk to End HIV, 10/28—This year the Potomac Association of the UCC is walking together! To order a t-shirt: UCC Walk T-shirt. To register: UCC Team. The team will meet for coffee and bagels at First Congregational UCC (945 G St. NW, near Metro Center and Gallery Place) at 8:15 am and leave there at 9 am for the walk beginning at Freedom Plaza.
Waking Up White, 10/29—BEGIN READING! We’ll gather after worship to discuss Debbie Irving’s excellent memoir about race. In her words: “This is the book I wish someone had handed me decades ago. My hope is that by sharing my sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, I offer a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance.” Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org.
Walk to End Homelessness, 11/4—Join our Cleveland Park Confirmation/Coming of Age Class for this walk on the National Mall to raise money for Friendship Place. To register with the Cleveland Park Team and/or donate, go to: Walk to End Homelessness.