“All shall give as they are able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.” Deuteronomy 16:17
Our God knows something about leading people into the wilderness and having them wait there, wondering whether their dreams will be fulfilled. It’s the story of Moses and those who came after him to lead God’s people. It’s the story of risk and anxiety, hope and despair, miracle and deliverance. And it’s the story of those of us who live in the 21st century church, including St. Paul’s.
Our congregation has seen difficult periods of transition, loss, and rebirth over the last several years, and some have wondered if we’ve lost our sense of where we’re going. But our God is faithful, and calls us not only to survive and thrive, but to lead. St. Paul’s has gifts and passions for the heart of ministry. We can build large and small diverse communities that welcome new friends and grow and form Christians of all ages. We can deepen our knowledge of and relationship to a living God through worship, education, and pastoral care. We can serve the most vulnerable of God’s people through vital and missional outreach at home and around the world. We can provide spiritual, intellectual, and ethical leadership in Milwaukee.
St. Paul’s needs your continued financial support to help to do that. We need to invest basic infrastructure, and realign our efforts toward the two core mission imperatives: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength,” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
These are difficult economic times for millions of people in our country, and for our own members. Not everyone can increase their giving in the service of a balanced parish budget that equips us for vital mission. But precisely because these times are difficult, those of us who can increase our giving must do so.
Pledge packets are going out shortly, and you should receive yours the week of Nov. 8.
I encourage you to consider prayerfully making a pledge proportional to your income, each as we are able, in support of our shared ministry. Proportional giving means that you pledge an amount that represents a particular percentage of your expected income, and make annual adjustments as you are able. It’s an act of trust in God for you and for us, because it means that your actual giving will vary according to the financial gifts God gives you year after year. Unexpected changes for good or ill would be accompanied by a corresponding change in actual giving.
Giving generously as we are able in times like these is an expression of hope – an act of imagination. Generous giving reflects the certainty that God sustains us in difficult times and that our future is one of abundance and joy. It means our life together is worthy of investment, risk, and nurture. Please return your pledge no later than Reign of Christ (Christ the King) Sunday, November 21. Let’s equip St. Paul’s to thrive and continue in mission for the years ahead.