Stewardship

 

JoyfulFirst Presbyterian Church
100 West Church Circle – Kingsport, TN 37660 – 423-245-0104

“Everything we have comes from you; all we’re doing is giving back what we’ve been given from your generous hand.” (1st Chronicles 29:11-24)
October 1, 2015

Dear Members and Friends of First Presbyterian Church:

Our Stewardship Scripture Verse comes from the last chapter in 1st Chronicles. King David is handing over his throne to his son, Solomon. In his last act of office, David is leading a stewardship campaign for the building of God’s temple, the construction of which Solomon will oversee. But dad helps raise the funds for what will be his son’s greatest legacy. David knows that many Israelites may balk at the cost of the temple’s construction, but David reminds them, “This is not just a place for people to meet each other, but a house for God to meet us.” David attests to his own commitment to the project, and then asks, “And now, how about you? Who among you is ready and willing to join in the giving?” The inspiring story proclaims, “Ready and willing [everyone] stepped forward and gave willingly.” And the story goes on to say, “And the people were full of a sense of celebration – all that giving! And all giving willingly, freely!”

And that is when we come to our Stewardship Scripture Verse. David sets a proper theological understanding of Stewardship: “Everything we have comes from you; all we’re doing is giving back what we’ve been given from your generous hand….it all came from you!” And David concludes this passage by exclaiming, “…I have given from the heart, honestly and happily. And now I see all these people doing the same, giving freely, willingly – what a joy!”

October is Stewardship Season, a time to raise the funds to maintain the house where God meets us, provide the salaries of our staff members who support and/or lead the missions and ministries of our church, purchase curriculum and resources for our Christian Education and spiritual formation, provide for Christian fellowship, and fund outreach to “the least of these” and outreach proclaiming the Gospel “to the ends of the earth.” As King David challenged his people to give willingly and freely, so I challenge you. “[H]ow about you? Who among you is ready and willing to join in the giving?”

As the story is told, the people of Israel gave willingly, and they gave generously, and they even gave sacrificially. They put God first in their lives. And then a surprising thing happened. They experienced great joy! And that is my hope and prayer for us this Stewardship Season. Our Stewardship Theme this year is “Joyful Giving; Joyful Living; Joyful Church.” If we give joyfully as a church, we will live joyfully as a church; therefore, we will be a joyful church.

In the Bible story, King David prays, “I know, dear God, that you care nothing for the surface – you want us, our true selves – and so I have given from the heart, honestly and happily.” Please honestly and prayerfully seek God’s will for your giving to the mission and ministry of our church in 2016. Fill out the enclosed pledge card, and readily and willingly step forward and give joyfully on Stewardship Sunday (November 1). Then let us all join together in the Fellowship Hall after worship to celebrate “all that giving! And all giving willingly, freely!” “What a joy!”

In Christ’s Service,

David A. Cagle
Pastor