A Pastors Letter on Stewardship

Dear Folks,

I believe the time when we complete our pledge or commitment card this presents each of us with an important opportunity in our ongoing journey as members of the body of Christ. The Finance folks would like a letter from me so here is the good word on finances from my point of view.
You have already heard some things about the mission work that the congregation does for the year in ministry. I want to add another dimension from my particular position as your Pastor who has served on many church council boards including Finance as a laity person in years past which amounts to over 30+ years of Lay Service in various church administrations.

I believe in God. I know God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. In spite of my faults I am grateful to God for who I am and for what I have been given. My life and all that sustains it is a gift from God and a reflection of God’s love.
There are, of course, difficult times and bad moments in all of our lives which are beyond anyone’s control. But I believe God is always present, God’s grace prevails, and light overcomes the darkness.
When I think about my own personal stewardship over the years and all that God has entrusted to my care, the only word that seems to fit is “gratitude.”
The best kind of steward I know how to be is one who acts out of thanks to God.
STEWARDSHIP then becomes an attitude for one’s self.
Recently, Cheryl and I took a step of faith and moved from 10% to 15% of our household income in our giving to the Church’s we both serve. The United Methodist Church has witnessed to the tithe (10%) as the minimum standard of Christian giving. We are committed to working toward and above that tithe until we reach or exceed it. This also can be done in many ways of giving and not just the weekly collection, but that also is important to the finances of our church.
We encourage you to take a similar step of faith. Cheryl even took a position of ¾ time so that her church could make budget for 3-5 years and be in the black as to bottom line. Yet we both agree that the Lord God has blessed us so we need to be faithful and be giving back.
Please think about these things, and when the time comes for you to make your commitment, your pledge will reflect your faith. Thanks for sharing these moments with me and allowing me to share some thoughts with you that are so important to me.
James E. Brown L.L.Pastor