Jesus says: "Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father." [I John 14:12] Can you believe that Jesus said that? If anyone other than Jesus had said those words we would call it blasphemy; greater works than Jesus? How is that possible?
We will be wrestling with that question during the month of November in our worship services as part of our Stewardship emphasis entitled “Even Greater Things.” As we look to the future, I am sure that you join me in praying that God will make us more effective in our witness, service, and stewardship than ever before. I encourage every member and friend to be present for each of these important services. We will not be observing a “Commitment Sunday” format this year. Rather, there will be numerous opportunities for each of us to commit our tithes and offerings during each of the worship services on the first three Sundays of November.
In my estimation, we have had a very productive year of ministry. But I am convicted that even greater things are yet to come. Not that WE are greater or that we ever seek to be. Rather, we believe and trust that, as God’s Word promises, “Greater is he who is in us, than he who is in the world.” (I John 4:4)
Our Budget Team is preparing a new budget for 2017. We have much to be grateful for as individuals and as a church: family and friends, homes that shelter, friends to share our lives with, a country where we are free to worship as we please, and so many more blessings. God has gifted us so richly. In response, we give back to God, and when we do we are communicating something very important, “Thank you, God.”
Giving back to God financially and through the use of our gifts and talents are powerful ways to say thank you for God’s grace, and to practice gratitude. I hope you will consider joining me in responding to God with an “attitude of gratitude” by making a financial pledge to our church for 2017. This church makes such a difference in the well-being of people. But the best is yet to come!
An estimate of giving card is enclosed with this November's newsletter. Please bring this with you to worship on any of the first three Sundays in November. (The card will also be available via the Ushers each week). Let us all pray for a generous and faithful response that our ministry in 2017 will not only continue to bear fruit, but that we will do even greater things for Jesus. May God bless each of us as we commit together to become more fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ. I also pray for each one, a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.
Pastor Joel Hawthorne