Dear Kimberley United Church friends,
Over the Spring and Summer months the Stewardship Team at Kimberley United Church has been working steadily to plan and prepare a five week focus on Stewardship that will begin with “Welcome Back Sunday”, September 15th, and end with “Celebrate Stewardship Sunday”, October 13th.
Over the course of five weeks we will reflect on the gifts and challenges of being a community of faith and we will explore what it means to be faithful stewards of the gifts and resources of our lives offered in God’s service. Each week our worship will focus on one of the five ways the UCC Creed proclaims and celebrates our calling as a Church:
“We are called to be the Church:
(1) to celebrate God’s presence,
(2) to live with respect in Creation,
(3) to love and serve others,
(4) to seek justice and resist evil,
(5) to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen, our judge and our hope.”
Recognizing and celebrating our calling as people of faith is both an individual and a collective effort. You will receive information regarding our church’s strengths and challenges. You will also be asked to prayerfully discern the ways that God is calling you to participate in the ministry that we share as a community of faith. This participation comes in many forms as you will see when you read the Narrative Budget included with this letter. Stewardship is a broad term that has traditionally been used by the church to include all the ways we respond to God’s calling with gratitude and faithful action.
The offering of our time and talents, as well as our financial gifts, contributes to a healthy and vital congregation that reaches out into the wider community. We have a long and faithful history of service that has been a gift to past generations and will continue to be a blessing in the present and into the future.
One of the challenges our church has faced for the past decade is meeting our financial obligations. We have looked carefully at ways of decreasing our overall costs without losing the key elements of ministry that we value as a congregation. We have made a concerted effort in the past year to increase our fundraising and rental revenue to help support the many aspects of ministry including the maintenance of our gathering place. We celebrate the successes we have had in this past year and congratulate all that have contributed so much of their time and energy. We also need to increase our overall financial givings to balance our budgeted expenses. This is the most challenging part of stewardship. No one can tell another person what their financial contribution ought to be. What we can do as a church is make you aware of the need, give you some suggestions and ask you to prayerfully discern whether you are able to increase your weekly offering.
I sincerely believe that what we have to offer each other and the wider community changes lives and improves the world in which we live. I am encouraged by the progress we have made together and I continue to be hopeful for the future of Kimberley United Church.
In the words of Ann Weems, I continue to pray:
Remind us that our hope is in standing up and risking,
in taking the stewardship question seriously. Help us to remember, O God, that the stewardship question is not really, “How much will we give?”
The stewardship question is, “How will we spend what we have been given?”
We pray it will be faithfully and cheerfully.
Together in ministry,
Rev. Christine Dudley
Narrative Budget (Click image to read)