December 2017 - A Note from Pastor Steve
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Friends, as Candace shared with us on Sunday, we are on the cusp of Advent -- the time of celebration and preparation when we are getting ready to recognize the birth of the Christ child coming into the world and when we are preparing for the return of the King. But, as Candace pointed out, Advent is also the start of the church’s calendar. As we begin this new year (and as we look forward to 2018), I want to encourage you to consider your giving to the church and to other organizations that share God’s love in the world.
I often talk with people who are excited about sharing their gifts (financial as well as personal) but think of it only as an act of generosity. Sharing what we have been given is a spiritual discipline in which we are called to be engaged; just as we enrich our spiritual lives through engaging in prayer, the study of scripture and meeting with small groups, we also enrich our spiritual lives by a committed plan of financial giving. That plan should be based in discussions with God -- prayers of discernment on how best to use our resources to physically and spiritually change lives in our community and in our world.
There is a biblical presumption that God’s people will offer a tithe -- ten percent of their income -- toward God’s work in the world. I invite you to use this number as a benchmark for yourself. If you have not done so yet, create a budget for you (and your family) for 2018. What is your anticipated income and what are your anticipated expenses? If you have never made a regular commitment to the church, what changes might allow you to offer one or two percent of your income on a regular basis? If you have given regularly, consider if God is working with you to be able to share an additional percentage of your income with the church or with another faith-based organization that is working in the community. If you already share a ten percent tithe, is there an additional ministry to which you feel connected that could use your help as you go above and beyond?
Remember that special giving opportunities exist throughout the year -- not just in our weekly giving. On several Sundays in 2018 we will join in other churches with “special offerings” dedicated to specific ministries, including education, the support of Native American communities and disaster relief through UMCOR. During this Advent season, Revolution’s church council has challenged us to go above and beyond our normal offering to raise $1000 to offer support during the holiday season to those families served by Baby Grace ministries. Baby Grace, which operates through Revolution and other local churches, provides support for families at or near the poverty level through the provision of necessary supplies.
Reystone has engaged in a variety of ministries throughout our community, our state and the world in 2017. In the coming days, I am asking you to join me in prayerful consideration of what ministries we can create, renew and support in 2018 and how each of us is being moved to be a part of that plan.
December 1, 2017 - 12:00 am
500 W. 40th St. KCMO 64111(816)931-1858sunday mornings at 11:30