A Call to Stewardship at Calvary:
The Fruit of Our Gifts
But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. Luke 8:15
Dear Calvary Baptist Church Family:
The crisp fall wind has started to blow in D.C., along with the changing colors of the leaves, and as fall fully settles in to the city it is also time to consider our stewardship, both of our time and money, to Calvary. Like the changing seasons, we have liked to say that Calvary has been in a state of transition for two years now. This has been hard for many of us, as we work to create new structures, patterns, and traditions at Calvary. This has not been without significant effort on behalf of all of us in the community, and it hasn’t always been easy.
However, this stewardship season, our stewardship theme is The Fruit of Our Gifts. I want to take time to focus on the many things that have come out of the time, effort, and resources we have put into our community of faith. The past year has not just been characterized by hard conversations about transition – it has also been characterized by our continued commitment to be a community dedicated to God’s universal love and service to God’s people. It is defined by our continued commitment to serve our community and the world, through our work with local non-profits, such as SOME (So Others Might Eat), starting a prison ministry, and the dedicated work of our members to raise money for the Shalom Scholarship in El Salvador, where two of our scholars currently lead one of our sister churches. It is evidenced through our continued commitment to social justice, including through our continued presence at D.C. PRIDE parade, commitment to immigration reform, and safe spaces created to learn about racial justice in America and mourn as more of our black brothers and sisters continue to be unjustly killed across the country. It is given shape and meaning by continued fellowship I have found with you all in worship, our small group studies of theology, and in church gatherings. In other words, this year has shown a continued commitment to God’s loving community and God’s work.
None of this is possible without your gifts, of both time and money. Those of you who have been to our quarterly business meetings know that Calvary continues to spend more money than it receives in tithes and offerings, and as a consequence we are drawing from our endowment at an unsustainable rate. With all these things in mind, I have three requests:
• Catch up on your 2016 giving – We are currently behind on our goal for 2016 financial goals and pledges. Increasing your giving during this year will help us achieve our financial goals for the year and reduce the amount needed from the endowment.
• Make a financial pledge for 2017 – Using the pledge form mailed to your or completing the form below, let us know how much you plan to contribute to the Calvary community next year. Letting us know what you plan to give helps us plan our budget and what we can realistically continue to do in a given year.
• Make a pledge of your time in 2017 – The pledge form also allows you to express interest in contributing the service of your time. If anything that Calvary does is important to you, or we could be doing something more to serve our community, the world, or each other, let us know what you are interested in and we will reach out to you to make plans for the new year.
If you’re already a financial pledger, please prayerfully consider increasing your pledge as we all move toward the biblical standard of a tithe (10%). But regardless of whether you are able to give a lot or only a little, I hope that you will help us reach our goal of 100% participation in pledging for 2017. If you’re concerned that your ability to fulfill your pledge will change, don’t worry – you can change your pledge at any time. We are hoping to have received all pledge cards by Pledge Sunday, October 30.
As you prayerfully consider your pledge for the upcoming year, I would ask you to reflect on how God is calling you to continue to be involved in this community of faith, committed to celebrating and spreading God’s love. Over the course of October, both in worship and in our weekly newsletter, members of Calvary are presenting their own testimonies to The Fruit of Our Gifts. Your gifts of time and money make all that possible, both now and into the future. Thank you for your giving, your commitment, and all you do for Calvary!
To make an online contribution today use the “Give” link at the top of this page or click on: http://calvarydc.org/give/