Giving at HOP!

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Each Lent for the past few years, we have spent some time focusing on stewardship.  When we talk about stewardship in our lives, we are talking about how we care for the things that are entrusted to us.  As followers of Jesus, we would say that ALL we have belongs to God.  Nothing is ours.  Rather, it all belongs to God and we are entrusted with it.  That’s stewardship!  To be entrusted with something that isn’t ours.

Historically at HOP, stewardship has been talked about in the fall around the same time as the budget.  For the first number of years I was here at HOP, we sort of dropped the topic of stewardship altogether.  Now, we have moved this conversation to this Lenten time of year.  I think this is an important move for a number of reasons.

First of all, the way we steward things (our time, money, the gifts God has given to each of us) is really a faith thing.  It is how we live out our daily lives as God’s people.  Specifically, when we talk about giving of our time, and money, and talents, we always begin that conversation in way that frees us from those things.  When we give, we give because it is in our nature to give.  We need to give.  We are wired to give.  It is in our DNA.  When we don’t give freely and generously, it messes us up.  When we talk about our need to give of our time and money at the same time of year that we talk about budgets, we run the risk of confusing the topic of giving with paying someone else’s (the church’s) bills.  In the Sourwine house, we don't give our time and money to HOP to pay the church’s bills or to reach a budget number.  We give to HOP generously because God has so blessed us and we are a better and healthier family when we give it away.  My kids need to know that they need to freely give some of their money and stuff away regularly so that it doesn’t control them!

Secondly, Lent is a great time to reflect on how good of a steward we have been or how we live that out now!  Lent is a time of reflection on our life and focusing on the foundations of our faith living!

This year, we aren’t going to talk about stewardship as overwhelmingly as we have in the past.  In fact, I won’t lead the conversation this year.  Rather, I’m going to let the voices of our church community lead the conversation.  First of all, our council president, Jeff Eberle, will speak first about stewardship.  Please take a minute (ok, 3 minutes!) and watch this video (above) that Emily Faller guided us through.  It really is great.  Then, continue the conversation with those around you!  You take the lead, HOP!

Peace,

Pastor Mike



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