To pledge online, please go to our online pledge card.
November 19, 2018
Dear Fellow Old Firster,
As a father, I spend a lot of time reading children’s books, teaching lessons about right and wrong, and showing Chelsea the importance of helping and being kind to others. Of all the books that we have read together, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is my favorite. It has messages that are meant not only for children, but for adults as well.
For some of you who might not know, the story is about a tree who gives up everything to make a boy happy. She gives her apples so the boy can sell them and have money, her branches so he can later build a house for his family, and her trunk so he can build a boat to sail away when he is sad. The tree gives all that she can give until many years later, when all that she can offer the boy, now an old man, is a stump to rest upon. It is a sad story…
Yet, this story speaks to me: so often when we give, there is no grand prize or reward, just the satisfaction of giving and making a difference. We as a faith community need to be more like the tree and find ways to give with an open heart. The tree was able to give not money, but herself. When we look to the Bible, we read about individuals that gave themselves to glorify God. The ultimate gift is the one given by Jesus: he did not leave coins for humankind, but gave his life for us.
As we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas, giving thanks and gifts to one another, let’s take time to appreciate the unselfish gifts that each of us has to offer, understand why we need to give, and find more, new ways to share what we have. There’s something mysterious or magical about the gifts we give to church — grace magnifies them as they are compounded with the gifts of others.
We will make our stewardship pledges for 2019 in worship this Sunday, November 25. The pledge envelope has a yarn loop — we will hang them on the giving tree we are creating in the Sanctuary. The tree will remain in the Sanctuary for some weeks, and there will be pledge cards next to it (in case you are not in church the first week!) You may also pledge online: the link is at the top of this page.
Old First is a community of generous people, thank God. All that we do as a church — our speaking and showing and modeling a better way (even more needed in days like ours when selfishness and unkindness are on the rise) — is made possible by God through the giving spirits of people like us. For the satisfaction of giving and making a difference (or for the love of God), can you contribute your part?
Director of Stewardship