Stewardship Pledge for 2023
Pledge here for the 2023 Stewardship Campaign
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This is an exciting time at Shepherd of the Hills! As a new ministry year begins, there is so much going on right now! In the last few weeks, we started a new year of Sunday School and Confirmation. Next month, we will have Pastor Anna joining our staff, and this coming winter, we are looking forward to new things like Alpha and new prayer opportunities. God is doing amazing things here.
I want to say thank you for your generosity! Your financial support is what enables us to do ministry. And that’s why I am writing. This is the time of year when we are encouraged to prayerfully consider our giving as we make pledges for the upcoming year.
There are two different, complimentary ways of looking at things.
First, there is an understanding of stewardship as a response to God’s grace. We’re all saved through what God has done. When we lose perspective on this, we get confused, and we give out of guilt. Giving is an act of worship as much as singing your favorite hymn or praying the Lord’s prayer. I really want to challenge you to think of giving as investing in the kingdom of God. When we invest in the kingdom, we get to be a part of what God is doing. When we asked the congregation to invest in the High School mission trip this year, the response was amazing!
The second perspective is understanding that in order to do ministry, we need financial commitment and support. Last year, we approved an operating budget of $764,844. The good news is that our ministry is expanding and we are seeing new growth in many ways.
The downside is that giving hasn’t kept pace with our other growth. There are several factors for this. First, the stock market crash has deeply affected people’s giving. Second, we lost a couple of families that had been very generous. And, as much as we are bringing in new families, it takes a while for them to financially commit to a new congregation. That’s natural and there is nothing wrong with that.
As we begin a new season, I want to invite you to seek how God is calling you to invest in His mission and ministry here at Shepherd of the Hills.
Back when I was in school, I remember being in worship and watching the offering plate come towards me. I was going to give a couple of bucks, and then I had this thought, “I spend more than that on a cup of coffee. Is God more important than coffee?” And I had to think about that, because coffee was (and is) very important to me. Eventually I got to the right decision.
If you have been giving casually, or have been cautious about giving, I want to invite you to take the time to pray and ask God what He is calling you to give. God is always encouraging us to step out in faith in new ways. He may be calling you to make a new investment in His Kingdom.
I know some of you are giving as much as you can in a very tight economic environment. I’m always amazed by the generosity of people who live out the story of the widow’s mite. Thank you so much for your sacrificial giving.
To those who give so much to support our ministry, I want to say thank you for your generosity.
This congregation was founded over 60 years ago. In that time, so many have been blessed by the ministry of Shepherd of the Hills through worship, education, outreach, and service. And I firmly believe that our best days are ahead of us. During this time, let us all seek what God wants to do through our giving so that we can continue to do His mission in our community and beyond.
Thank you and may the Lord continue to bless this congregation,