Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7 NRSV)
I hope you had a wonderful summer. As summer winds down and we move into autumn, changes will begin to occur. We will start to experience a change in the weather, a change in the color of the leaves and a change in our activities. Summer vacation has ended and school actually started at the end of last month. It seems as though school begins earlier and earlier each year. People are returning to the area from vacationing in other locations to avoid the Sonoma County heat. It is harvest time and there has been an abundance of delicious fruits and vegetables surfacing around the church. We have been blessed with gifts of apples, zucchini, pears, cucumbers, avocados and other fruits and veggies from church family members. Thanks to everyone for sharing your bounty. You are wonderful examples of cheerful givers.
Speaking of sharing, which is a concept of stewardship, our Stewardship drive begins this month. We have the awesome opportunity to make a commitment to share our blessings with God through our church. It is so wonderful to be able to give. Our giving to our church assists in our ability to serve God and our neighbors.
The other day I was introduced to a young lady as the pastor of FUMC. Her response was, “Which one of the churches on Covey Road is FUMC?” Someone said the “big one.” The young lady responded cheerfully,”Oh, you mean the community church!”
What a wonderful statement of recognition to describe our cheerful giving. She referred to our church as “the community church” because we cheerfully provide a place for our community to gather. We provide a place for children to be developed through positive values. It is a joy to see their cheerful faces at the Cub and Boy Scout meetings. We make a difference in the lives of our community residents.
Members of our Monday congregation cheerfully say “thank you” to the church for providing an opportunity to receive food and clothing. On Saturday night, people cheerfully gather at the AA meeting to support each other through life’s journey. Cheerful giving creates cheerful receivers. What a blessing it is to be known for our cheerful stewardship in our community.
Also, as we move into autumn, we will soon be able to launch our new website. Whoopee! A very big thank you to Dana Wright for his cheerful stewardship to the church.
God loves cheerful givers. We have so many examples of cheerful giving in the life of our church. I am excited about and looking forward to sharing with others via the Internet and in other opportunities how we cheerfully serve the LORD and our community. May the LORD continue to bless our cheerful giving!
In Jesus’ name,