Everybody In, Nobody Out: Stewardship 2013

What’s your favorite Jesus miracle? Feeding five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish? Turning water into wine? Raising Lazarus? Each of Christ’s wonders speaks to us in different ways, but they share a common setting: miracles happen in groups. Miracles happen when people come together under a common purpose. You’ll notice in Matthew 14 that it’s not Jesus’ own food that he multiplies but that of the disciples: he takes what the people give and increases it. The disciples aren’t watching God; they are now participating in the miracle, simply by giving.

Last year, 65% of you who call this place “home” made a pledge, and we did some amazing things. We’ve hired a new music director; expanded our youth programming; renovated the nursery -and- the basement (to prepare for a new resale shop!); created a new fellowship group for folks in their 20s and 30s; a music studio and a voice in the struggle against poverty; thriving social justice activities; new signs up along with a revamped web presence; and trust me…MORE! All of this on 65%…praise God! What if 100% of our church community made a pledge to University Church for 2013? We are growing now, but what is possible when we ALL make a commitment? Miracles.

University Church is in the miracle-making business. But to do that – as in the miracles of Jesus’ time – we have to come together. That’s what this year’s Stewardship Campaign is all about. 100% participation.

During the entire month of November we have been discussing the root meanings of stewardship – what is a “treasure”, what does “tithing” even mean?, and so on (and sermons are available online!) – so that we will stop thinking about stewardship as “how much $$$ we will give away” and start thinking about what we want to cause in the world. To do that requires a 100% effort. Everybody in, nobody out.

So this year, make a pledge. It doesn’t matter the amount – 10%, 1%, or one penny a week – if God has blessed you, then bless others. Pray about your commitment this year, fill out a pledge card, and on November 18we’ll collect our five loaves and two fish and present them to Jesus. Then, on November 25, we’ll make commitments of time. Because stewardship isn’t only about $$$: it’s about coming together in faith. With God’s help we can participate in some miracles next year!

—Pastor Julian and the Stewardship Committee