Hello FCC Friends!
This might not be the right way to start a stewardship campaign letter, but sometimes it is hard to get excited about stewardship. I know. For me the word stewardship brings to mind images of the Love Boat’s “steward” (I know I date myself admitting this) rather than a joyful aspect of our relationship and growth with God.
But this year – I’ve been feeling re-energized. And I think it has a lot to do with our theme – Build a Bigger Table. This theme is a natural fit for our church, a place that truly embodies Bonhoeffer’s quote,
“The church is the church only when it exists for others.”
Build a Bigger Table speaks to and challenges me personally during a time in history that feels especially troubling. It is tempting to cut back, turn inward, and guard “what’s mine.” But at FCC Eugene I’m consistently reminded that our faith is calling us in a different direction – a direction of love, compassion, and hospitality. People seek us out as a caring community, a place where they can find solace and safety and sanctuary. The hospitality and human connections found here are difficult to find anywhere else. God calls us to build that bigger table, and at First Christian Church, we strive to answer that call.
In his book, “The Welcoming Congregation: Roots and Fruits of Christian Hospitality,” Henry Brinton notes that truly hospitable congregations are passionate about programs that reach and serve people around them. At First Christian Church we use our gifts, talents, time and facilities to serve a world in need, and that isn’t always easy. From hosting 12-step programs and the Interfaith Sunday Breakfast, warming centers to worship services, by our education programs, youth mission trips, and special offerings, our ministries impact those within our church, our community, and beyond.
As we launch the 2017 season of stewardship, the Resource Team begins by saying “Thank you.” Thank you for your ongoing support of the ministries and missions of our vibrant, welcoming church. We invite you to join our journey from World Communion Sunday October 1st, to our United Worship & Crocktoberfest Church Potluck on October 8, to Dedication Sunday on October 22nd, by returning your estimate of giving card provided in this packet.
In both services we will dedicate our gifts and ask God’s continued blessing on our ministries as we build our table bigger, share our financial gifts generously, and discover how they effect so many lives in very significant ways.
With gratitude for this congregation and our shared vision for our community,
Laura Hammond, Resource Ministry Chair