First United Methodist Church - Wausau Wisconsin
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Live and Share God's Love

From the Pastor's Desk

Jayneann McIntosh

Pastor

From Pastor Jayneann's Pen

 
If you were at worship on September 24th, you will have heard me talk about wholistic stewardship. This is something near to my heart. For all my life, it seems, I’ve been concerned about how well we care about (and for) the earth and its many, varied inhabitants. It wasn’t until I was in seminary that I met fellow “green” Christians.

Since that time I’ve learned that discipleship is about all the ways we live out our faith – individually and communally – both in our works of piety and our works of mercy.
More about this another time. For now I’ll continue about stewardship. Stewardship is about using what we are and what we have – which are all gifts from God – as well as we can for God’s good purpose.

Stewardship has gotten a bad reputation in churches because for so many pastors as well as finance committees, it’s all about the money. But money is just a part of it.
 
Granted, money is how we measure success these days. We listen to people with money. We want to be like them. Yet, we also have health, homes, families and friends, food, time and many other resources. In what ways are we – or aren’t we – using these resources for God’s best hope for creation.

What follows is a piece put together by Adam Hamilton and his ghost-writers for use with the stewardship program we’ll be using this fall which I’ve edited for our use.
 
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Stress. Anxiety. Fear. These words capture well the state of mind of many of us today. We have witnessed dramatic market losses, the collapse of the too many large companies, bankruptcies, mergers. Even as our nation’s economy grows stronger, too many of us are stressed about it and about our personal finances. Too many still feel angry and worried. Troubles with the nation’s economy take a physical and emotional toll on people nation-wide.

Join us in worship the next four weeks for a sermon series entitled Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity. Our nation is only just climbing out of what many have described as the “American Nightmare.” Consumer debt, declines in savings, lower in-come growth, and a volatile stock market are all part of our economic uncertainty. Society has told us “you deserve it now,” whether or not we can afford it or really even need it.

All of us have struggled with these issues at one time or another. They are important issues that we cannot ignore. This is why, over these four weeks, we will be having a church wide worship emphasis called Enough: Discovering Joy Through Simplicity and Generosity. We will explore what the bible teaches about financial management. We’ll hear expert advice and stories about what others have learned by working through financial challenges. Each week we will provide you with some practical tools you can use to assess your financial situation and develop a financial plan with a biblical foundation.

At the conclusion of the emphasis, we will have the opportunity to make personal commitments of our offerings to God through our church in the coming year. We will consecrate these commitments in the worship service on two consecutive Sundays.

I hope you will join us in the coming weeks as we look at how we can manage our financial resources and truly experience simplicity, generosity, and joy.
 

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