I learned Jane Marshall’s great hymn of gratitude in seminary: What gift can we bring, what present, what token? What words can convey it, the joy of this day? When grateful we come, remembering, rejoicing, what song can we offer in honor and praise?
These are good questions, and we will attempt to answer them on the Sundays leading to November 18th, our Commitment Sunday. This is the date we have set aside to consider our financial commitments to the Lord for 2019. Our theme is, “What Gift Shall We Bring?” Yes, what gift shall we bring to God who has blessed us so richly as individuals and as a Church? Will we be willing to allow our stewardship to reflect our discipleship?
We live in an extraordinarily material and consumer oriented society. We always want more, and new, bigger, and better. Many believe that happiness lies in material wealth and surrounding ourselves with a lot of stuff. It has been said that 40% of the American people spend 110 percent of their annual income each year. Yet all of this spending and possessing leaves us dissatisfied and empty. At root, these are spiritual issues, not financial issues.
When we become followers, or disciples of Jesus Christ, we are invited to share all that we have and all we are. How then will we respond and allow God to use us and our resources for the good of others? During my November messages, I will be leading us to consider what it means to be generous. Generosity is a personal act of worship where we express our gratitude to God and experience God’s blessings and joy.
Look for an estimate of giving card enclosed with your newsletter, and I encourage you to prayerfully consider how you will respond to the invitation to share what God has provided for you for the ongoing mission of Montgomery Hills. There will be a designated time in our worship on November 18th when we bring our commitment cards forward to have our intentions consecrated.
God has done, and continues to do, remarkable things through us and with us, things that I believe really matter in the lives of others. Your prayers, participation, and gifts are keys to helping us advance further on the pathway of discipleship. Through your gifts, you will be a part of changing the lives of children and youth, ministering to those in need, and welcoming others into the embrace of Christ. Thank you for all that you do to make possible the ministry of Montgomery Hills! You are making a difference here!
In Christ, Pastor Joel
Rev. Dr. Doris Barron-Shell