HONORING the LORD with OUR FIRST FRUITS
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This has been an unusually difficult year, but God has continued to bestow many blessings on all of us, so we are thankful. This year, the Stewardship Team has chosen the message: “time on the Vine” as our stewardship focus. Jesus says in John 15:5: “I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me; you can do nothing.” Period! Allow that to sink in. Most of us, most of the time, think it is up to us as we either take the credit or the blame for our actions. But as branches of the Vine, all positive results are truly from His love and glory.
So how can we express our appreciation to God for all of the blessings He has so graciously provided? One of the chief ways is by offering back to Him, as children of the Vine, the First Fruits of everything that He has given to us. The first standard level of giving is the offering of the Tithe – which begins with giving back to God 10% of what He has given to us. To those who last year made a written pledge and are fulfilling that commitment, thank you. For those who faithfully tithe, along with those who are working toward that goal, or even contributing beyond it, thank you.
However, our financial gifts are not the only way that we are encouraged to tithe. Tithing is also giving back to God through our time and talents. It is through these three areas that the Church can do His work. As Christians, we worship Him, then go out to spread His Word, demonstrating our faith in Him as we live our lives. We participate in works of mercy by helping those in need. We bake bread, teach Church School, usher, sing in the choir and participate in countless other activities all for the glory of God. It is through All these efforts that we tithe and show how thankful we are for God’s rich blessings.
The enclosed stewardship booklet has been prepared for us as we consider and plan our giving for 2021. The cover declares, Honoring the Lord with our First Fruits, and it is this message that you will hear much about in the weeks ahead. Even though we cannot predict the future, we encourage you to prayerfully prepare to make a commitment to our Church for 2021. Please engage in this process as an act of faith, which will push us all to want to give more back to God to do His work.
We ask that you complete the 2021 Commitment Card located on the back of the booklet. Like all of your financial information, your commitment is kept completely confidential. A special display has been set up in the Church Narthex where you can deposit your Commitment Card in the secure box and add your family’s name (optional) to the First Fruits wall display to illustrate your commitment to Honor the Lord with your First Fruits. For those unable to bring your commitment card to church, we ask that you mail it by Sunday, November 1st. Thank you!
With love and joy to you and your family,
Your St. Nicholas Stewardship Team
Visit this link [stewardship] to read the Honoring the Lord with our First Fruits booklet.