The theme for our 2022 Stewardship temple talks comes from a grand old Lutheran hymn. LIVING IN, WITH AND UNDER GOD'S GRACE. It's a hymn for all seasons, for all circumstances, for all ages. It praises God for seasons of light and joy, and for God's light that shines in the dark and difficult times. And as we move into the season to consider our Stewardship, of our response to God is in the way we use the time, talents, and treasure that God has given us. During our Stewardship talks, you will have the opportunity to think carefully and prayerfully about all that you have and what you have to offer throughout the congregation and beyond.
There is Stewardship direction written In the Ten Guides for Giving from the Apostle Paul and it’s in Second Corinthians. In his second letter to the Christians at Corinth, Paul outlines ten guides for giving, and giving grace in your life.
1. Give of Yourself (2 Corinthians 8:5) When giving begins with the dedication of ourselves, it’s a blessing to your generosity to include such a dedication.
2. Excel In Your Giving (2 Corinthians 8:7) Paul urged the Christians at Corinth to excel in three things: faith, love and giving.
3. Let Christ Be Your Example (2 Corinthians 8:9) He was the supreme giver. We are his followers.
4. Put Your Faith to Work (2 Corinthians 8:11) Don't just talk about what you'd like to do. Do it! Act on your faith!
5. Give Proportionately - a Percentage of your Income (2 Corinthians 8:12) We are to give according to our resources - "As the Lord has blessed us." Money is a trust; we are trustees.
6. Give What Is Honorable In God's Sight (2 Corinthians 8:21) It's another reminder that we live our lives in the presence and sight of God, and that he is to be honored in all things.
7. Give What Is Honorable In The Sight Of Others (2 Corinthians 8:21) Our giving is an expression of our faith. It's a witness to others, and others are encouraged and strengthened by what we do.
8. Give As Proof Of Your Love (2 Corinthians 9:6) Talk is easy and often cheap! Paul asks us to let our giving (not our talking) prove our love.
9. Giving Leads To Blessings (2 Corinthians 9:6) While this appeals not to the highest of motives, it nevertheless is a promise of God and is the experience of countless members.
10. Give Cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7) When money is given to the Church, Salem Lutheran will always make sure Christ's mission is served. When we give cheerfully, we are blessed ourselves.
Dear Friends in Christ, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you.
This is the 2nd of our 2022 Stewardship Temple Talks and the theme comes from a grand old Lutheran hymn. LIVING IN, WITH AND UNDER GOD'S GRACE. It's a hymn for all seasons, for all circumstances, for all ages. It praises God for seasons of light and joy, and also for God's light that shines in the dark and difficult times.
I invite you to think about the time, skills, and wealth that God has entrusted to your care. How are you using them? Are you being a good steward, using all of those things in a way that best care for your family, your neighbor, and the world? Are you using them as you think God wants you to use them?
While grace is a familiar and beloved word for us Lutherans, have you ever noticed that it's not something we have as our own possession? You can't carry grace in your pocket, or put it in a paper bag, or keep it safe in a china closet for future generations to inherit.
Grace is God's attitude toward creation; it is the disposition of Christ that results in our salvation. Grace has the power to enlighten the darkness, remove the power of sin, and give life in the place of death. But we still can't hold it in our hands.
So what does it mean to have a "Day Full of Grace?" It means, first of all, that our eyes and minds have been opened to see God's favorable disposition for ourselves and our world in the events of the day. And, second, it means that we respond with an attitude of thanks.
In languages that descend from Latin and Greek, "grace" and "thank you" are related to each other. "Thank you" is another thing you can't have as your own possession, even if someone gives it to you. Like grace, you can't put it in your pocket or keep it for later. Thank you and grace are matters of the spirit that establish relationships and change the world without any observable physical substance.
So in our stewardship of God's creation, and in our use of relationships and physical possessions, we look for days of grace and days of thanks to be our way of life. Lives of Christian stewardship are formed first by learning to see that all we have is a gift of God's grace. They are made complete as we learn the habit of returning thanks for all that we have.
Appreciating all the gifts we have…everything…and taking that appreciation and passing it to others, is what I believe God calls us to do. For some of us, its service in our community. For others it might be a workday cleanup at the Church or reading the lessons on Sundays. Or, you could serve as the acolyte, or the bell ringer or a number of any other tasks in the Church . God gives us all talents, gifts and interests. It’s when we share these gifts of Christian stewardship that will bring those gifts full circle in our lives.
The theme for our 2022 Stewardship Temple Talks came from a grand old Lutheran hymn. LIVING IN, WITH AND UNDER GOD'S GRACE. It's a hymn for all seasons, for all circumstances, for all ages. It praises God for seasons of light and joy, and also for God's light that shines in the dark and difficult times.
Living in, with and under God's grace each day, we respond with grateful hearts through the ministry and mission we share. We do God's work with our hands through:
• the talents and skills of laypeople and leaders within the Salem congregation.
• cooperating as a congregation to enable broader ministry.
• gifts from you in the congregation to support stated missions.
• holding each other in prayer.
• staying with each other, even in difficult times.
• raising up new leaders and faithful church members.
• recognizing congregational members who are witnessing, serving, and accompanying our neighbors every day
The stewardship theme is found the Green hymnal on page 161, it is LIVING IN, WITH AND UNDER GOD'S GRACE…O day full of grace, O blessed time, our Lord on the earth arriving; Then came to the world that light sublime, great joy for us all retrieving; For Jesus all mortals did embrace, all shame and despair removing.
During our Stewardship temple talks, you have been given the opportunity to think carefully and prayerfully about all that you have and what you have to offer throughout the congregation and beyond. In the 1st weeks Stewardship temple talk, we offered the Ten Guides for Giving from the Apostle Paul written in Second Corinthians outlining guides for giving and giving grace in your life. In last week’s stewardship temple talk, we talked about that while grace is a familiar and beloved word for us, you noticed that it's not something we have as our own possession. You can't carry grace in your pocket or keep it safe in a china closet for future generations to inherit. Grace is God's attitude toward creation; it is the disposition of Christ that results in our salvation. Grace has the power to lighten darkness, remove the power of sin, and give life in the place of death. Today, we touched on how Grace through leadership and ministry touches others through talents, witnessing, and serving.
The goal of this year’s Stewardship temple talks is show how God’s Grace carries on. Living in God's grace each day, we respond with thankful hearts through shared responsibilities. In the church is where the people of God gather together around Word and Sacrament. And the manifestation of Word and Sacrament into Ministry and Mission is where the people of Salem Lutheran Church become a concrete reality for God's people.
We want to reaffirm today is that as a generous congregation, we continue to support stewardship of our time, our talents and our treasure. Salem Lutheran Church has a rich stewardship history. We want to express gratitude for God’s guidance and past gifts, for the congregation’s efforts – past, present and future – and for the opportunities to respond with lives of gratitude! We are providing you the mindful opportunity that you can Live in, With and Under God's grace each day. Thank you for responding with a steward’s heart in support of Salem Lutheran ministries and mission.
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