Thank you for making this HOME.

 “…Or as close as it can get,” is what Jose Juan told me about a week after we had welcomed him into Sanctuary. That was April 2016, and he was fighting to remain with his family in America. We were helping him. One reporter that came to interview him asked, “Why do they want to send you home?” and he corrected them: “My home is here.” For the better part of this year University Church has been helping Jose Juan get back home.

And students have made this place home – a new young adult group has started – and your church has become a faith community for many that are missing the warmth of home.

Whether HOME is a feeling or a place (both, right?), University Church has aimed to be more than a house of God, but home for the community. It worked in 1894, and it is working today. You have felt it personally and the city is feeling our extravagant welcome.

None of this happens on accident. In the ancient days, the people committed to giving a portion of their harvest to sustain the temple and care for the poor. It was called a “firstfruit” and a “tithe” and an “offering” – all the things we still call it. The idea of a “pledge” is simply to anticipate and get started working BEFORE the harvest. The people of faith wanted to work together to make the temple a home.

This church has been passed to us after 122 years of revered history in the city – as an advocate, a public witness, and a place of spiritual healing. We believe in transformation – inside and out – we believe in opening doors that seem locked. Especially right now.

God is still calling us to do our part. Last Stewardship season, we added our piece to the puzzle. From your piece came the support of an immigrant family; community forums; a new youth pastor; a Fall festival; more families; deepened spiritual practices; new energy and gifts being put to use. All because of you. In 2017 we’ll do even more, with God’s help and your contribution.

Be prayerful over your finances as you prepare to turn in your pledge card. For some, a 10% “tithe” of your income will be what you write, and less for others. As pastor, all I ask is that we have 100% participation. Full participation of our congregation, of any amount.

Stewardship Sunday is November 20th this year (my 6-year anniversary as pastor!). We’ll receive pledge cards through the end of November. You can also call or email the office with your pledge.

Thank you for making this HOME. With your help, we’ll get a little closer!

— Pastor Julian & the Stewardship Committee