The Importance of Stewardship:

When I first started in ministry I read a book called “I Refuse to Lead a Dying Church.” I loved the ideas in the book even if I always disliked the negativity of the title. Instead, I have preferred a more positive statement, “choosing to be a church of life.” For our fall stewardship campaign at Faith, we are going to be looking at how we can choose to be a church of life. Our actions and our attitudes have a great deal of impact on what kind of church we can be. Our core values of racial justice, environmental stewardship, and inclusion are part of how we make that choice. Our focus on missions and using our church to support the community are a part of how we are choosing to be a church of life. Our continued efforts to reach out to younger families through our Sunday school, the Trunk or Treat event this fall, or other activities like Parent’s Night Out are all about our choice to be a church of life.

I see signs of life all around in our congregation. I see it in the passion that people have for music and worship. I see it in the small groups that gather, whether it is for Bible study, prayer, discussion, or just sharing a meal, these are all great signs of life. That life is evident in the ways that you live out your faith in your daily lives, through reading devotionals, through volunteering in your communities, and through how you care for one another. It is also so obvious in the love, care, and support you give to our staff here at church. I really believe this congregation is a church of life.

Before we pat ourselves on the back too much though, I would stress one other thing, being a church of life is an active choice, it is something we have to do over and over again. We do not decide to be a church of life and then we are done, we have to keep making that choice each and every day. For that reason, we are asking you again to make a choice to support this church and help us be a church of life. I have mentioned so many things that you do to help us be a church of life, but another important one is giving to this church. Your financial gifts are part of what lets us be an active, vital, and impactful church here in our community. Your gifts support our staff, care for our building, and fuel mission and ministry right here in St. Anthony but also around the state, the nation, and even the world. Your choice to support this church helps us to keep doing that in the coming year.

One of the realities of ministry is that an overwhelming amount of our budget goes to pay for staff. For our congregation, this is especially important because many of us are no longer at a point in life where we can do as much as we once did. We used to teach Sunday school or join in on work projects or Habitat builds, but those days have passed. Our staff at Faith help provide the coordination, leadership, and care needed to do ministry today. The amount we are able to give to the church directly impacts our ability to do all the things we value and love in our church and to have such a big impact on our community.

In my experience, there is never a moment in a church where one choice will make that difference between life and death. Rather for every church, it is an active decision that we make all the time. We can choose to be a church of life, filled with God’s spirit, living into Christi’s grace, and guided by the Holy Spirit. We can choose to be the Body of Christ offering love to a hurting world. We can choose to follow God boldly into the future and see what the new year will bring us. Are we ready to make that choice?

Help us continue making the choice to be a church of life. Pray for our church and our future. Pray about what you can do to help. Ask yourself if you can give more this year to help out. Fill out the enclosed pledge card and return it to the church office by November 21st either by mailing it, dropping it off, or putting it in the offering plate during worship. Thank you for choosing to help us be a church of life.

 – Pastor Jeff Ozanne

Stewardship Letter