As September hopefully brings cooler temperatures and hints of fall, we find ourselves in a season of reflection and thanksgiving. It is a time when the spirit of stewardship becomes especially poignant, reminding us to embrace the blessings we have received and share them with joyful hearts. Let us take a moment to delve into these words of wisdom from 2 Corinthians 9:7-8: 

"Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 

Paul can certainly turn a phrase. He reminds us that our gifts, whether great or small, are meant to be offered with a heart full of cheerfulness. Stewardship is not about feeling obligated or pressured; it is about recognizing the privilege we must share what we have, because God has blessed us richly. 

Recently I mentioned research findings that giving generates joy for the giver. Imagine, for a moment, the feeling of joy that lights up your heart when you give freely, without hesitation. That joy, friends, is at the heart of stewardship – an act of love and gratitude that ripples through our lives and our community, leaving a trail of positivity in its wake. 

The verse continues with a promise: God's ability to bless us abundantly. It is as if we are invited to join a dance of abundance, where our steps are guided by faith, and every twirl reveals more blessings than we could have imagined. 

When we live in alignment with the spirit of stewardship, we step into this dance. We find that our needs are met, that we have all we require to flourish, and that our actions create a tapestry of good works that extends far beyond our immediate reach. 

As we journey through September, you are invited to consider how you will be a steward in 2024. Our stewardship campaign, Generous, runs from September 10 to October 1. This is the perfect time to reflect on how you want to share your time, talents, and treasure in the coming year. 

Whether it is lending a hand to a neighbor, supporting a local cause, or simply showing someone that they matter, we are called to be stewards of love. Let us embrace this season with open hearts and open hands, allowing the joy of stewardship to enrich our lives and the lives of those around us. 

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