Each Sunday in worship, we experience a time of community prayer. Afterward, we prayerfully transition into our Offering, with a reminder that this time of passing plates and giving our financial gifts toward the ministry of the church is a continuation of prayer. We cannot understand the importance of giving without understanding it through prayer.
Rev. Melvin Amerson phrases it well in the book, Celebrating the Offering: “Celebrating the offering is a spiritual act of worship every believer can actively participate in each week. Giving becomes a celebration when the believer discovers the joy of generosity, which grows out of God’s grace.”
Over the course of this year, we have heard each month from our Finance Committee about some of the challenges we’ve faced this year. (Note: these can be found in our monthly Beach Breeze.) Persons who give regularly also receive quarterly statements of their specific giving that generally includes a letter from the Pastor with ongoing news about the financial health of the church. Your committee chairs work hard throughout the year to honor approved budgets, and also to respond to shortages in estimated giving so that our church remains in a healthy financial position. All of this is done through faithful and prayerful discernment.
Of course, we remember that our financial giving is only one part of a larger expression of stewardship. As United Methodists, we covenant to support the ministries of the church with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness. Please plan to join in our annual Stewardship conversation during the month of October, which will include the distribution and receipt of our annual Estimate of Giving cards. This time each year helps us to set individual goals of full expressions of stewardship toward the Ministries of this congregation, and helps our church leaders set goals and plan for the coming year.
Let us look toward this time with hope and with joy.