Holy God, your Scripture points beyond conventional understandings to the heart of the matter. Who is rich? Who is poor? How is it that your abundant life is often so apparent among those who have relatively little and so hard to find among those who have so much? And who are we? Rich or poor? Like the widow who “put in everything she had,” teach us to step past conventional understandings of poverty and wealth into the limitless provision of your boundless love. Amen.
God of the sparrow, God of the whale, God of quark and quasar, the Psalmist looked at the vastness of the heavens and wondered at your compassion for mere human beings. Thousands of years later we, too, wonder at the vastness of the universe while we exploit and pollute the Earth. Teach us to love our only home the way you love us. Teach us to treat our fellow beings with care. Free us from greed and fear, which drive our self-destructive behaviors. Teach us to trust in your abundant provision. Amen.
Pastor’s Page October 2018
October brings us deeper into fall. It’s a season of turning, falling, and raking leaves. It’s the season of Halloween, pumpkins, costumes, and trick-or-treat. It’s also Season of Stewardship at FCC. As we think about church restart, it’s important for us to consider once again our stewardship practices as individuals and as a church.
Ministry requires resources. There are no two ways about it. As a church we count on gifts of time, gifts of service, and gifts of financial resources to make our organization go. In the context of church restart, those gifts become even more critical.
It takes a lot of time, talent, and treasure for the things we are considering: relocating, rebranding, reaching new people, building relationships, clarifying vision, growing, and developing ministries that truly reflect the needs of Stamford rather than the sorts of things we would prefer to do. Restart is demanding, so not only do we need to continue to grow in our giving, we need to focus the resources we have for the greatest impact for growth. This means letting go of everything that isn’t essential to the heart of our mission.
The saying is that money follows mission. The good news is that restart offers us the opportunity to refocus the bulk of our resources on mission. We are anticipating shifting a large piece of the time, talent, and treasure we have spent on our building to focusing on people: building up people, loving people, reaching people, helping people connect to God. A church is first of all people, and restart creates the opportunity to invest in people in new and significant ways. So I’m hopeful that even as our financial picture continues to evolve, every one of us will deepen our stewardship practice. Now is the time to invest in our future.