This election has been a tense time in our nation, and I have a feeling that tension is not going to dissipate now that the election is over. There are many cheers in the Trump camp and many tears in the Clinton camp…and on down the line. If you were in any of Sunday’s services, you know that I quoted our Methodist father John Wesley on voting. It seems good advice to me. I’ll quote it again here. Even though No. 1 is no longer applicable, I’m sure that No. 2 and No. 3 are crucial for our nation to heal and move forward with a new president and Congress, as well as with changes in our state and county. So, here’s what Wesley wrote in his Journal on October 6, 1774:
I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them
1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy.
2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and
3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.
Let’s pledge ourselves to pray for our newly elected leaders in our community, state and nation and to watch our tongues and our attitudes toward those with whom we differ. Jesus would have us do no less!
This Sunday we conclude our Giving to Grow stewardship campaign. We’ll ponder once more Wesley’s sermon “The Use of Money,” and especially his admonition to, “Give all you can.” We’ll consider how that’s done “with willing hearts” (Exodus 35:19-22a; 36:2-7) and with great joy and generosity. (See the story of Zacchaeus in Luke19:1-10)
You should receive a mailing with a letter of information and instruction, a Step Up chart, information on online giving, and a pledge card. Please consider carefully and prayerfully your commitment to the general budget of the church for 2017. Can you take a step up from where you are currently? Can you grow in your giving? Growth in your giving will help the church then grow in its mission and ministry. New people are coming, lives are being changed, and we need to expand program and staff expenses to meet this growth and continue to move the church forward according to God’s will.
Online giving is a “win-win.” It makes it simple for you, the giver, and it distributes the money uniformly and consistently throughout the year, which greatly helps the church. Your pledge is also a “win-win,” because it’s important for our individual growth to carefully and prayerfully make an intentional decision and commitment, and it helps the church leadership know what to expect in funding the growth of the church.
We’ll make our commitments at the high point of each worship service this week. Please come ready to respond, and if you cannot be there, please mail or bring your card by the church so that it can be included in the act of dedication.
Great things have been happening at First Church, and great things are ahead still. Let’s respond with generosity and joy and see what God can do!