Giving to the Church
John Westerhoff, an Anglican priest, tells this story. The church that Westerhoff served adopted a new service book that was unpopular with several members of the congregation. Two members announced that they were going to quit paying their pledges for as long as the new book was being used. A friend of theirs, who was also disgruntled, made an appointment to see Westerhoff, who braced himself for more complaints. But to his surprise, the man gave him a check equal to the pledges of the other two members. “I’ll never like that book,” he said, “but this is family, and you don’t vote with your wallet.”
Our stewardship theme for this year focuses on “Stories to Tell & Gifts to Share.” We recognize that God has showered us with gifts of grace that literally fill our lives. In response we live, joyfully sharing God’s gifts and giving thanks for all that God has given-especially the gift of forgiveness and life in Jesus Christ. One of the important ways we share our gifts is through the support we give to our congregation. Our gifts are signs of the gift of ourselves to God. Our giving opens us, fulfills our life, and affirms our purpose as those who serve because we were served and saved in Jesus.
Then it might be said of us as Paul said of the believers in Corinth: “They gave themselves first to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 8:5).