Dear Old First,
There’s something new at Old First. Have you noticed? I started listing the new things and my list became an avalanche: new Sunday school teachers, a new vegetable garden, new committee members, new people and members in worship, a new bike rack, new musicians…
In keeping with the new things God is doing through Old First, I will ask you to do something new during this year’s stewardship campaign. Stewardship is the deliberate use of our time, talent and treasure to express our faith. Stewardship is a series of conscious decisions we make to reflect our growing faith and to stimulate the growth of our faith. Given that we are each as different places along our faith journeys, new stewardship will mean something different things to each of us.
To jump start your imagination, here’s are some suggestions. Look for a suggestion that challenges you in a new way or find your own way to make your stewardship new is 2012:
~ Make the time to come to worship more frequently. A time to pray, to sing, to read the Bible, to contemplate our place in the world, to mingle with other saints-in-the-making.
~ Begin pledging in 2012. Pledges are confidential and simply indicate the amount of money you intend to contribute to Old First in the coming year. This is important for church budget planning, but moreover pledging can be important for our personal financial discipline. In 2011, 24% of the pledges were new. Could you be one of the new pledges in 2012?
~ Increase your pledge as a percentage of your income. This can apply to households with increasing or decreasing incomes. This takes some creativity. Perhaps even a creative sacrifice. Consider a new financial habit as a concrete reminder of our faith. By adapting a new habit that allows an increased pledge, the habit becomes a spiritual discipline and faith grows.
~ Give electronically. So far in 2011, we have increased the number of regular contributions that are given electronically, but the number is still only five! (And we are pretty sure more than that are doing other financial transactions electronically!) If you consider this option, look for something new in the pews pertaining to electronic giving.
The opportunities for each of us to do something new during this stewardship campaign are limitless, because God’s love and power are beyond measure.
Enclosed with the hard copy of this letter that you received at home is a pledge card for 2012. Please take a moment to write how your stewardship is new this year. Pledges will be received during worship on Sunday, November 13 (or mail them in early if you must miss worship).
(I will be copies of this letter and additional pledge cards available that Sunday in worship.)
May God bless our efforts to become more faithful stewards of our time, talent and treasure. And, in all things, may God make us new.
P.S. For those of you that pledged in 2011, your third quarter statement was also enclosed in the hard copy you received of this letter. If you are behind, please make an effort to fulfill your pledge prior to the end of the year. If you are on target, consider making an extra gift to enable Old First to finish the year without a budget gap.