I am thinking about renaming this year’s Stewardship Campaign! We could call it the 2019 Gratitude Campaign. As Kristine Miller says so well, “Generosity is a spiritual discipline that begins with gratitude and ends with joy.” Gratitude is at the heart of stewardship.
As disciples of Christ, we recognize that God’s love for us — from the creation of our world through the birth and death of his Holy Son, to His continued presence and guidance in our lives daily — is the ultimate example of generosity and the ultimate reason for thanksgiving.
God’s extravagance is beyond our understanding. His only expectation is that we receive these blessings with heartfelt appreciation and joy. We are then given the opportunity to prayerfully and faithfully express our gratitude through our actions. And just like the gift that keeps on giving, when we practice extravagance by sharing God’s gifts with others, we experience a transformation.
Over the next four weeks, make time each day to reflect — and to list out in prayer and gratitude those things and aspects of your life that you recognize to be gifts from God. Be mindful of the fruits of the spirit that you receive from others. Spend time as an individual, as a family and as a church, thinking and talking about how gratitude enriches your personal life, the world around you, and your spiritual relationship with God. Look for ways to express your heartfelt thanks to those around you. Look for ways to express your heartfelt thanks to God for all the blessings you have received. Live in gratitude for a month! A renewed sense of joy may surprise you.
I ask you also to “give in gratitude” by completing the 2019 Commitment Card that you will be receiving along with Dr. Bruster’s stewardship letter and the special stewardship edition of CONNECT. Please join Stewardship Co-chairs Amy Atkins and John Cockrell, Dr. Bruster and many others in an active show of GRATITUDE by completing and returning your 2019 commitment.
We kick off the 2019 Stewardship Gratitude Campaign on Sunday, September 23. I am confident that as we focus on gratitude here at First Church, we will be energized and filled with joy as we give back to God’s Kingdom! Mark your calendar for October 14 as we come together as a church family for our 5th Street Celebration of Gratitude. I look forward to thanking you in person for your generosity.
Together in Christ,
Director of Stewardship