Over the years, I’m continually overwhelmed by the generosity of God’s people in the life of the Christ’s church. Each person’s story is unique. People give graciously of their time, their abilities and their wealth.
This year’s Stewardship Appeal theme is Strengthening Connections. We know that our connection with Christ, each other and the world God creates and loves is important in the mission we share at Risen Lord. Those connections are grounded in love--God’s love for all through Christ.
What I have noticed is that when people are intentional about financial giving for their congregation’s mission and offering to God, no matter the amount, their connection to the life of a congregation and faith deepens. They care about what’s happening. They grow more curious.
They begin to see what God is doing in and through the life of the congregation. They want to see the congregation grow its ability to reach more people with God’s love.
Twenty years ago, my first husband and I discussed and intentionally pledged an offering. It was a big decision because our children were young. How would the offering impact the rest of our budget along with the reality of having kids?
I don’t think we ever felt the pinch. In fact, the opposite was true. Instead, we got more involved in the congregation we were attending.
A few years later when he died, my financial reality changed. I made a decision to not change what we had been giving. Part of it was an act of trust that God would help me navigate my
new reality. Part of it was the fact that I was pursuing my sense of call to ordained ministry. What would faithful living and giving look like?
All these years later, I don’t regret the commitment to give financially wherever God has called me to serve. I don’t think about what I could’ve done with the money I’ve given. I think about how giving was another way to say to God, “I’m committed to participating with and seeing how this particular community of faith grows its witness to Christ in the mission the people share with each other and the world around them.”
I’m grateful now for my husband Scott who appreciates and supports how we can thoughtfully and prayerfully steward all that God has given to us through intentional giving to Risen Lord.
Pray for a generous response to this year’s appeal. Pray about your own response. Consider increasing your giving as the Lord leads you. Be ready to share your statement of intent on Strengthening Connections-2023 Sunday at worship on November 26th.
In our giving we will be showing gratitude for all that God has done in our lives. We will be saying, “God, we are hopeful about your future unfolding in the life of our congregation, Christ’s Church and the world you love!”
Grace and peace,
Pastor Wendy Kalan