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Why Would I Ever Give to That?

Our pledge drive is continuing to move forward.  After the second week of “Blessing Through the Ages” we now are up to 116 pledges totaling $483,360.  We are hoping for a wrap up this Sunday as we finish off the sermon series.  Trey did a great job on the first week as we looked from a Millennial perspective.  Don also preached an outstanding sermon and while he didn’t address the Baby Boomer generation specifically, his re-telling of The Giving Tree took many parents back to the 60’s.   

Now to finish off the series, I will look at stewardship from a Gen X perspective.  As I considered the various defining marks of my generation, I decided upon cynicism as the characteristic that would be fun to explore.  After all, there are a lot of cynics that span the generations when it comes to charitable giving.

There are many excuses that we break out when holding on to our money.

So on Sunday, I hope to think about some of these from my own perspective and faith journey.

Although we tithe now, this was not always the case.  Before I was ordained, I worked as a youth minister and gave a pledge but it was substantially less than a tithe.  I was paying off my undergraduate education before going to seminary and I used this as my excuse to give less since I was determined to further my education because of God!  So I hope to show an evolution of my stewardship that will begin with my giving to a VBS campaign of boys versus girls as a young child.  Spoiler alert – it didn’t go the way I had hoped!

If you have yet to make a pledge, I hope that you’ll prayerfully consider what you will give to the church in 2018.  We don’t have stewardship police!  No one will hound you if circumstances arise that would make it necessary to change your giving pattern.  We do, however, have an expectation of members to pledge and will have a calling committee to contact our regulars following the end of the campaign.  

We will also be hosting a special event on the last Sunday of this month.  On October 29, the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation will be leading us through a special workshop during the Sunday school hour on how we might look at giving through our estate after we pass.  Primarily, we hope to strengthen our church through the growth of our endowment fund.  Even if you regularly pledge, you might consider giving an extra ten dollars a month to the endowment.  When enough members do this, combined with the wonder of compound interest, it will benefit our church’s ministry for generations to come!  We hope to address different kinds of gifts and the tax benefits you might receive by doing so such as stock or property.  The workshop will be repeated at 11 am for those who attend our 9:45 am service.  We will feature brunch in the CAC to entice you and are asking our Sunday school classes to meet together that day in the CAC.  Our Business Administrator, Aimee Hallenbeck, will also be on hand this Sunday outside the East Wing of the Sanctuary to take your pledge or answer your questions about e-giving for the next two weeks.  

It is a joy to give toward the Kingdom of God.  As the pledges come in, I always appreciate being a part of something larger than myself – something that will transcend my own ability to impact the world around me.  It is exciting and I hope that you will be a part of it.  If you didn’t see our impact report yet, you may do so on our website here:  May God bless you and may God bless the world through our church!

In Christ,

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