The mornings have been crisp - signs of Fall - my favorite time of the year. I particularly love the milder weather. I love the ability to open windows and doors and let the warmth in rather than keeping everything shut up to keep the heat out. Double pain windows are wonderful. Like the heat, they also help keep a lot of urban noises out, but in doing so, they also keep out the sounds of creation that I love, i.e., rustling leaves, singing birds, chirping squirrels, etc. All of which can be enjoyed on a Fall day if you can throw open your doors and windows.
There are other things about November that I love. As October is put to bed for another year, we hopefully put behind us Red Flag Warnings and Power Safety Shutdowns and turn and welcome our gratitude and the giving season: Thanksgiving of course, but also our time of stewardship. Since my previous ministries were with non-profits, I became painfully aware of the price to do God’s work in the world. I was blessed, however, that my work with the homeless was always subsidized with City and County monies - but not so for our church ministry.
From the Bible, Matthew 25 offers us a description of what the ministry of being Christ’s hands and feet in the world looks like:
”Come you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”
Can you see yourself asking the question, “Lord, when did you see me do this?” and he answers:
”Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
Beautiful, isn’t it? Lest we not forget also that the ministry to our congregation in the form of worship and fellowship activities is also a vital ministry.
Our challenge arises when we realize that in addition to the cost of our ministry, we must build and keep the foundation on which these ministries to our community, our world and our church are built and sustained. This takes additional financial responsibilities. For example, upkeep to the property, all the utilities, staff salaries, items for study and fellowship,etc. In essence how do we remain solvent? It is never easy to discuss money - in fact it is sometimes downright embarrassing, but as difficult as it may be, it is a necessary part of our lives and our church’s life.
During our time of Stewardship, please take a moment of prayer and discern how you might assist Covenant. Do so as you are able, not matter how big or how small, but please do. Throw open your “doors and windows” and let the warmth in, and give from the heart.
With affection and gratitude,
Your Pastor, Linda