With Gratitude

Your presence at our booth at Annual Conference is appreciated. We enjoyed getting to visit with friends of the Foundation and those looking to learn more.  You and the churches you attend or serve are the reason that we exist.  We are here to serve you.  So, thank you for letting us be a part of your mission.

 

Please, remember that mission does not stop with a pastoral change, the summer or vacation.  The mission of the church continues. Pastors, if you are moving, do all in your power to have all financial obligations for the church up to date. In addition, make sure that the new pastor has an up to date income and expense accounting for the current year compared to the previous two to three years.  It is so nice for the pastor not to have to ask the folks at the new appointment for this important information.

 

Pastors that are moving and pastors that are staying, express your gratitude to the folks in the pew who are faithful stewards.  We need to learn to thank givers on a regular basis.  But a transition is a great time for the outgoing pastor to express her/his appreciation for all the financial supporters of the church and its mission.


Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Sing to God a thanksgiving hymn, play music on your instruments to God, Who fills the sky with clouds, preparing rain for the earth, Then turning the mountains green with grass, feeding both cattle and crows.  Psalm 147:7-9  The Message (MSG)

Your Foundation staff thanks you for allowing us to partner with you in making disciples of Jesus Christ. Your investment in the Foundation allows us to work with newly commissioned clergy, create cultures of generosity in congregations, and bring fresh ideas to spiritual leaders. Endowments created by you fund over 100 scholarships for college and seminary students from Mississippi United Methodist Churches.

You make a difference! So we give thanks to God, who provides the resources for making disciples. May you be blessed this Thanksgiving.


For All the Saints

For All the Saints

 

Today, November 1, is All Saints Day. This is day to honor those who have gone before us in the faith. I realize that most congregations will celebrate this day Sunday, November 5. What a special time to give thanks to God for the lives of our brothers and sisters in the faith, who now rest from their labors. We give thanks to God for the sacrifices these men and women made to establish and support our congregations.

 

We often find ourselves taking for granted the very places where we gather for worship. We neglect the people, who had a vision to create a community of faith, and then gave of themselves to make it happen. These saints gave generously for the sake of the kingdom of God.

 

The founding generations of our churches reached out into their communities to invite and disciple new believers. These saints were willing to engage new methods to reach new people in their day and time. Founding generations gave their time and resources to support pastoral leadership and construct places of worship. Founding generations lived out their faith in such a way that it made a lasting impact in their communities. Now it is our moment as the saints of the church to model generosity and faith for new generations.

 

How are we reaching out into our communities to invite and develop new disciples? What is the measure of our generosity?


Gratitude

Gratitude

We are quickly approaching Thanksgiving Day, when we are invited to express our gratitude to God for all the blessings we enjoy. We also give thanks for the gifts of family, friends, work, home and food. This are personal expressions. But how do we as church leaders express our gratitude for the faithful people in our churches?

Now is a good time to thank all of the persons, who make it possible for the church to be in ministry and mission. Think about the ones that are out in front and easy to remember. But let’s remember the ones who work behind the scenes making sure everything is ready for our life together. Maybe the pastor and lay leader could send Thanksgiving Cards to all of these folks. It may be possible to thank them in a service of worship. Then what about all the financial resources entrusted to the church?

Consider setting aside a two or three minutes in worship the Sunday before Thanksgiving to give thanks for all those who give to the church. Recognize that givers have many choices these days. Express your gratitude for all that has been received. Then mention what happens because of everyone’s generosity.

You may even discover that gratitude is contagious.