This upcoming Sunday, November 12, our annual Stewardship Season begins. This is the time in which our weekly offertory words are brought to the forefront of our lives: “Everything in heaven and on earth is yours; yours is the Kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as Head above all. All things come from you, O LORD: And of your own have we given you” (1 Chronicles 29:10-14).
As “stewards,” we are people entrusted with God’s resources, and so we “seek to manage those resources according to the owner’s vision and values” (Tim Keller). Over the next three weeks we’ll be reminded of God’s call to Stewardship, Generosity, and Partnership as a grateful response to his generous gifts to us (1 Peter 4:9-11). We will conclude this season on December 03 with the opportunity to bring our pledges to the altar as a commitment to partner with God in the mission he has given Immanuel: “God with us…for the sake of others.”
Intrinsic to that mission is creating an enjoyable space for welcoming the younger generation of families and children. To that end, we have some exciting news: We have received the first part of Immanuel’s future playground! Sometime around the end of November/early December the remaining pieces are scheduled to be delivered, after which crews will install the playground. Per our insurance, we will also install surface material and a fence. We are excited to invite your kids/grandkids/friend’s kids to come play when it is complete. We do ask that children not use the playground or climb on pieces of the playground until it is fully completed.
Melissa Byers, our Children’s Minister, writes:
Immanuel’s playground is planned as a tool for ministry for Immanuel. We look forward to kids playing after church, and during VBS and other special events, and we are praying about the possibility of starting a play group in the spring/summer. We believe that a playground can be an inviting place of fellowship and hospitality for families with children.
This is one of the ways we have stewarded the resources within our Building Fund, the financial expression of our mission that is dedicated to paying our mortgage and funding building-and-grounds projects like the playground. Our Operating Account is a separate fund, holding the resources we steward for the advancement of our mission through our staff, ministries, and programs.
As you consider your personal call to stewardship, remember that the starting place for giving is not wondering what you should give to the Lord, but contemplating what you have received from the Lord. As we enter this Stewardship Season, therefore, I encourage you to invite the Holy Spirit to increase our awareness of “the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7).
Your Pastor in Christ,