Giving to Christ’s work in the world
Stewardship Campaign 2019: “Live Your Most Generous Life!”
Are you living your most generous life? Our 2019 campaign focuses on the giver and, specifically, our most generous giver- God. At Epworth UMC, we are a blessed congregation in that we share so much of ourselves for the benefit of others. We know that with all things, God is good and will provide.
Our scripture for this year’s campaign comes from 1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NRSV version).
17 As for those who in the present age are rich, command them not to be haughty, or to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but rather on God who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, 19 thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.
Paul appears to tell us that material riches may not be as pleasing as one would hope. The answer to being rich in life is having the ability to use your riches for God’s work. Using God as a foundation will lead to the greatest life. Rich in good works, generosity, and sharing are the treasures that we all should store up to live our most generous life!
Schedule of Events
October 13th: Stewardship Campaign Kickoff, Ministry Moment by Brian Smith- Stewardship Committee
October 20th: Ministry Moment, Mark Fulp- Stewardship Committee
October 27th: Ministry Moment, Grayson and Jacob Dye- Duke University Divinity school students
November 10th: Ministry Moment, Sue Stutz- President of Epworth United Methodist Women
November 17th: Stewardship Commitment Sunday: Rev. Tim Russell- Assistant to the Bishop/Director of Ministerial Relations, NC Conference
Let’s look at three kinds of gifts that we receive, manage, and share:
We did nothing to earn the hours, the days, the weeks of our lives. Time is a gift of God. How we choose to use it is a matter of stewardship. Some people lead lives of frenetic activity, always over-extending themselves to the point of exhaustion, while others sit around in apathetic boredom. Some spend all their hours serving the needs of others at the expense of their own, while others live only for themselves.
As Christian stewards we try to manage time wisely and in a balanced way. And we give our time gladly to family and friends, to strangers, to the community, the church, and to ourselves.
Do you remember Jesus’ parable of the three servants who received different amounts of money to manage while the master was away? We’ve each received from God distinctive gifts and talents. How we develop and use these talents is a matter of stewardship. Like two of the servants in Jesus’ story, we can invest them wisely — or like the third, out of fear we can hide them (Matthew 25:14-30). As stewards, we acknowledge the gifts we have without apology. We develop them further, practicing new skills and putting our talents to work in ministry
We may think that our financial resources are our own. But when we recall that the time, the energy, the good health, and the opportunities for employment behind these dollars are all gifts from God, we see that the funds belong to God too. We are the stewards; God is the owner. So questions about what we earn, how we earn it, how we save, spend, and give it away, are all questions of Christian stewardship.
One vital aspect of our stewardship is our giving to Christ’s work in the world. We’ve learned that giving is most effective when we commit ourselves to give a definite proportion of our income through the church. For many, this proportion is one-tenth, or a tithe. Whatever the amount, we have discovered the joy in giving to God the “first fruits,” an amount “off the top” of our income, not what’s left over at the end of the month.
—This explanation of stewardship is an excerpt from The United Methodist Member’s Handbook Revised and Expanded, pgs. 20-21, George E. Koehler ©2006, Discipleship Resources.
- John Clausing: Stewardship Today October 13, 2019
Stewardship Campaign 2019