Tuesday, September 13, 2005

THanks and GIving

HEre is my write up for our newletter which should be ready to go by the end of the week (assuming that people actually get in the stuff they were asked to have by last Sunday).

It’s harvest time! That time of year when we look at the produce from our gardens and take stock. It is no coincidence that it is also the season of Thanksgiving. When we look at the bounty of the earth we pause to say thank you, not only for the food of our gardens but for all those things that give our lives abundance.

In the church fall is often a time to talk about stewardship. This, too, is a response to the many gifts that God has given us. It has been said that we don’t give time, talent, and treasure to the church because it asks (although it does), or because it feels good to give (hopefully it does that too), or even because we feel guilty. The essence of stewardship grows out of a feeling of sharing the blessedness we find in our lives. We know that we have in abundance and so we give back to God that others would know that abundance.

This week you will get a letter. That letter will mark the beginning of Riverview’s Stewardship campaign for 2005. I admit, part of the reason for doing it now is because we need a sense of what money we can plan on as we make our budget for 2006. Stewardship may not only be about money but it is about money too. During the next month we will take time to contemplate our giftedness and how we choose to respond. God calls us to give. God wants us to share with each other. Giving of what we have, and of ourselves, is not only an act of faith but it is an integral part of our faith. Sacrifice is asked of us, as an act both of gratitude and of praise to the One who gave it to us in the first place. Please, take time to consider how you are able to share the love of God made active in Riverview United Church.

God is a giver of incredible gifts. And so we are moved to offer thanks. But God gives so that we can give as well. As a hymn often sung for Thanksgiving says (in the old words): Lord of all to thee we raise, this our sacrifice of praise” (For the Beauty of the Earth).

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