Friday, October 12, 2012

Consecration Sunday Is Coming

   I am pleased to be able, again, to share about Consecration Sunday in the life of our church. This is the third year we have undertaken this specific program, and Epworth’s response the previous two years was excellent. Our stewardship team feels that this is a good way to teach the biblical and spiritual principles of generous giving in our emphasis on stewardship.
   Congregations that approach financial stewardship from a biblical perspective do not view the money Christians give to their church merely as a way to pay its bills. Rather, such congregations see financial contributions as a way to help people grow spiritually in their relationship with God by supporting their church’s mission and ministry with a percentage of their incomes.
   Consecration Sunday is based on the biblical philosophy of the need of the giver to give for his or her own spiritual development, rather than on the need of the church to receive. Instead of treating people like members of a club who should pay dues, we believe followers of Jesus Christ want to give unselfishly as an act of discipleship. Consecration Sunday encourages people toward proportionate and regular giving in response to the question, “What percentage of my income is God calling me to give?”
   During morning worship on Consecration Sunday, we are asking our members and regular visitors to make their financial commitments to our church’s ministries of worship, study and service in this community and around the world.
   Every member and regular visitor who completes an Estimate of Giving Card will do so voluntarily by attending morning worship on Consecration Sunday. The procedure will be done in such a way that no one feels personal embarrassment if he or she chooses not to fill out a card.  We will do no home solicitation to ask people to complete cards. During morning worship, our guest leader will conduct a brief period of instruction and inspiration, followed by members making their commitments as a confidential act of worship.
   We will encourage participation in worship and the meal on Consecration Sunday through letters, announcements in worship, and assistance by leaders in our church. Since we will make no follow-up visits to ask people to complete their cards, we will make every effort to inform, inspire, and commit everyone to attend Consecration Sunday worship.
   Thank you for helping make this year together at Epworth so very good from a ministry and financial standpoint. I am grateful to you for allowing me to partner with you in ministry in this great church.
   Steve Sawyer - Church Council Chairperson

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