It has been a wonderful year in the life of our church. We are grateful for the many ways that God has blessed us and fed us so that we might feed others! From the Summer Feeding Program to the Backpack Program to our amazing UMYF (youth group) to the fantastic kids to meaningful worship to studies for persons on all paths in the holy life, we have been a part of ministry that has made a difference in our own lives and has made a positive difference for our community.
he time has come for our annual stewardship campaign. Our church has traditionally used the mid-winter at the first of each year as a time to reflect upon where God is calling us, what that will cost, and how we will pay for it. Thus, the Finance Committee uses the stewardship campaign to have a rough estimate of the financial income that we can expect in the coming year. This provides that group with the means to be able to adjust our ministry and needs. You can review the narrative giving brochure to see how our church invests in ministry in our church, in our community, and around the world.
We also recognize that giving is a spiritual discipline; one that scripture, from the Old Testament to the New Testament, from Moses to Jesus, commends to each of us as a means of displaying generosity, returning to God a portion of what is already God's, and perhaps most importantly, to re-order our lives through our pocketbook to show where our priorities truly lie. For three weeks in February, we'll hear sermons from Pastor Todd-Paul and Robin Roark on stewardship and giving, and on February 23 will have the opportunity to make our commitment to giving to our church for the coming year.
The overall goal of each family should be to tithe: to give ten percent of our income to God. However, we realize that not everyone is at the point where he or she is financially able to tithe. There are several different goals that you can meet in working toward tithing. For example, if you have never given a percentage of your income before, you might consider giving 2% or 5% of your income in 2020, and then adding an additional percent each consecutive year until you reach 10%. We are reminded of the story of the widow's mite that tells us that God is far less concerned with the actual dollar amount that a person gives (especially when compared to what another might give), but is far more concerned with joyful, sacrificial, and generous giving. We would like to encourage you to make a commitment to giving a percentage of your family's income this year as you tithe, or work toward tithing.
Please know that our campaign is based on an estimate of giving, not a pledge. This means that you can adjust your giving over the course of the year. If your family meets a tragedy such as a job loss or unexpected medical expenses, you can adjust your giving accordingly. On the other hand, if your family experiences an unexpected financial windfall such as a bonus or a raise, you can adjust your giving accordingly.
We look forward to being in ministry with you during the stewardship campaign and throughout 2020 at First United Methodist Church of Sheridan and hope that you will prayerfully consider participating in this year's stewardship campaign.
Grace and Peace,
Ms. Mandy Schee Rev. Todd-Paul R. Taulbee
Chair, Finance Committee Pastor