Why I Believe...

I believe in financial stewardship because I believe that trusting God with my finances is one of the most challenging and yet rewarding journeys of faith set before us as Christ-followers. It is as simple as that.

I do not believe in financial stewardship because I believe that the church "needs" my money. I'm only one person among many; my family only one among the many families of the church. The budget of the church is considerable and it will not fail without my money. No, I do not believe in financial stewardship because I think the church will go under without me.

I believe in financial stewardship because my biblical and theological beliefs are foundational to my convictions about Christian giving. First, I believe in Jesus Christ, and that Christ has the greatest power to change the lives of people than any other thing they can cling to. Second, I believe in the church. I believe it is the literal Body of Christ and through the church people's lives are positively impacted and enriched. I know this is true for me and my family. Third, I believe in stewardship. I believe that financial giving enables a church to do what God hopes for it to do, and that giving helps me grow spiritually through increasing generosity for the very reason I stated at the beginning: trusting God with my finances is one of the most challenging and yet rewarding journeys of faith set before us as Christ-followers.

This Sunday is Commitment Sunday. Today or tomorrow you should receive in your mailbox an Estimate of Giving card. I ask you to continue discerning how God is inviting you to respond to Christ's Body the Church by acting on what you believe. What percentage of your income are you willing to trust God with as you reinvest God's good gifts back into the life-transforming presences of the church? What is your response to the Christ to whom you cling? Are you prepared to grow spiritually through increasing generosity, trusting God with your finances? Please bring your commitment cards with you to church on Sunday, but don't decide too quickly how you will answer those questions. Pray about them; consider them with intentionality, but leave space for the Holy Spirit to continue to grow with in you in the days to come. During worship you will have time to add the final number to your card, an outward expression of an inward conviction. Our estimates of giving are expressions of what we each believe. Join me in asking the question of ourselves, "Why do I believe...."

If you cannot be in worship on Sunday, you can return your Estimate of Giving card the following Sunday or drop it by the church office or in the mail. I am hopeful, prayerful and optimistic that this year will continue what began last year: more people than ever returning cards and most making a statement of belief by increasing their pledge over the year before. Friends, every dollar we saved by eliminating the burden of our debt has been reinvested in the life of the church and we are seeing the fruit of that being harvested. I believe that God is at work through Martin in a powerful way. I believe that our best days are ahead of us. I believe in the power of Jesus Christ to transform lives. I believe in the church. I believe in you!

I believe that trusting God with our finances is one of the most challenging and yet rewarding journeys of faith set before us as Christ-followers.

Do you believe that too? There is beauty in giving. I look forward to being with you on Sunday as we worship our God, most powerfully revealed in Jesus Christ, who lives, reigns, and redeems us all.

Blessed to be your pastor,

Rev. Lara
aka "The Vicar"
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Prayer Concerns

Deepest Sympathy, love and prayers go to: All the family members of Vanisi Kongaika who died on November 10.

Martin Community:  Samantha Bradley, Glen Dow, John Gray, Barb Herbison, David Fyfe, Alilia & Vanisi Kongaika, Kyle Kunz, Carolyn Moore, Tevita Mose,
Rev. Robert Nimocks, Melissa Norton, Phyllis Shepherd, Bailey & Suzie Smith,
´╗┐Lee Swann
 
Family & Friends: James Beard, Barbie Hamilton & family, Emma Rae Jones, Vicki Almstedt, Former President-Jimmy Carter, Donna & Taryn Cates, Gwen Caylor, Cory Chalk, Todd Chalk, Jan Connell, Patrice Harriell, Susan Henry, Pat Hern, Sheila Hensley, Edgar Hough III, Eric & Gary Huff, Georgiana Jones, Katherine Lee, Sandra Montignani, Jody Murphy, Jan Nelson, Merle Owens, Bill & Jo Miller, Jay, Beverly & Bobby Petrey, Potter family, Roxanne Ramey,Dottie Rust, Beverly Sonneborn, Bill & Dorothy Standley, Tapp family, Cathy & Daisy Uhi, Gary Winburne, Britton Woods, Gunner Woods, Christy Young, Lindsy Yoro, Andrew Yoro