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The Secret to Living Generously
By Bill Danaher
As I mentioned in this year’s Stewardship appeal, this year our focus is on “living generously.” Generosity isn’t just about how many gifts you share, or how much time you devote, or how much money you give – as much as we all benefit when someone selflessly shares her treasure, time, or talent
Rather, generosity is a way of life. Generosity goes with the flow of the gift God gives us in Jesus.
Generosity is like the ripple created by a stone when it hits a pool of water. As the ripple reverberates throughout the pool, so does our own generosity shape the community we live in and the culture around us.
Generosity, therefore, has a spiritual foundation. It is based in our own deeper decision to trust God and the people around us by giving back some of the blessings that have been given to us. Because of this spiritual foundation, this year we have asked each of you to consider your annual commitment to the church – that is, your pledge – after considering the following:
We believe that once you have carefully reflected on these three questions and finished the proposed sentence, you will find the spiritual foundation on which a generous life is built.
Of course, there are practical and pragmatic reasons why we need your pledge – your money makes the ministry we do together possible. More about these practical reasons can be found in our annual appeal, copies of which are available in print at the church and here.
However, this year, we want to place the spirituality of generosity front and center. For this reason, we have prepared special embossed stones for you as a token and reminder of all the good work your pledge accomplished – of the ripple of generosity you created. Once you have made your pledge, you can pick up your stone from the church office or from members of the Stewardship Committee or the clergy after our worship services.
Finally, this year, on November 4-5, when we celebrate All Saints Day, we will have an opportunity for each of you to share your answers with each other. We see this as a fitting way to remember all those saints who have blessed our lives, particularly those we have lost over the past year. In other words, we will give thanks to God for all the ways God has generously blessed us with these wonderful people who have been God’s light and love in our world. In return, we will offer our own lives and gifts to God and to each other with the hope that we might participate in the abundant life God calls us to live.