Our two churches have reunited in order to burn brighter! When we burn brighter we will have a greater impact on our congregation, our community and our world. Our congregation will burn brighter as each of us burns brighter by fully incarnating, embodying, and fulfilling our “being created in the image of God.” This is an act of discipleship. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus preached:
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I have put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16, The Message)
Is this not a command to burn brighter?
Burn Brighter is our stewardship theme this fall. It is an invitation to deepen your commitment to your faith journey with this congregation. The goal of stewardship is not to get people to give more money, it is to inspire greater generosity, a deeper commitment to sharing your gifts. Deeper commitment may involve an element of sacrifice, but it is a sacrifice that leads to good things – a deeper sense of connection, deeper relationships with others and perhaps, if your heart is open to it, a deeper relationship with God.
The stewardship trinity is time, talent, and treasure, so if your blessings include money, deep commitment means giving money. Giving time and talent without giving money is not deep commitment. Giving money without giving time and talent is not deep commitment. This message is deeply embedded in our scripture and faith tradition.
Over the next weeks we will be viewing the Disney film Encanto through a faith lens to explore questions about gifts and giving:
How do we find our gifts?
What are our gifts for?
How are our gifts linked to our identity, our purpose, and why we are here/
How do other people’s gifts matter to me and mine to them?
What is our miracle?
Please join us on this journey. At the end of the journey, we will ask people to prayerfully consider pledging to our new congregation.
Charlie Kuchenbrod, on behalf of the Stewardship Team
Walter Ford, Diane and Roger Hernsdorf, Bill Ross, Sarah Scotto, Scott Tracy,