Like most churches, we are in the process of closing out this year’s financial achievements and are looking to planning the upcoming year.  As in most churches, the issue of “stewardship” is not a welcomed discussion by some if not many of a church’s membership.  And perhaps an extension of such a conversation would be “Why is the discussion of stewardship so laborious for many people of faith?”

In an essay, “Leadership is Stewardship” by Bill Peel, he writes “the fundamental principle of biblical stewardship is … God owns everything, we are simply managers or administrators, acting on God’s behalf.”  Peel’s suggestion that stewardship encompasses four principles – ownership, responsibility, accountability, and reward – holds before all people of faith the fundamental concept given in “Colossians 3:23-24 as Paul writes:  Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that…it is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Indeed, at First Church we are committed to be prudent stewards while striving for that Christ-centered excellence in ministry.  In concert with such efforts, each member of the church has received pledge cards for the purpose of continuing to vision outstanding ministry here at First Church.  Your pledge helps our leadership address both the shorter-term immediate needs as well as longer-termed projections for serving a growing community and the future church.

Yes, 2016 was full of unexpected twists and turns for our church.  However, as 2016 comes to a close, and 2017 is about to commence, there is a strong faith among us and God is richly blessing the collective efforts to heal and persevere.  For those who have completed and submitted your pledges, know we are deeply grateful.  For those yet to submit your pledge, we are asking you to be prayerful and timely in submitting your 2017 information.  Your pledge is an important part of the strategic planning for our growing faith community.  We are excited about the possibilities, and deeply grateful for your support.

On behalf of the leadership and membership of First Church, thank you.  And may the Peace of Christ be with us all, and see you in church!

Pastor Matt

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