Stewardship is about GIVING GIFTS

By Allen Moyer, Stewardship Chair

Biblical scholars have long had varying interpretations of the meaning and significance of each of the gifts given to the Christ child by the Kings from the East. These gifts of value were standard gifts for a king: gold as precious metal, frankincense as perfume or incense, and myrrh as anointing oil.

IMG_0757There’s also a deeper spiritual meaning as well specific to Jesus himself: gold representing his kingship, frankincense a symbol of his priestly role, and myrrh a prefiguring of his death and embalming.
In our culture today gift-giving often takes a back seat to gift-receiving when we think about the holiday season. But to truly grasp the meaning of Christmas to a saved sinner, we need to focus on both receiving and giving gifts.

The birth of Jesus is the ultimate supernatural “gift” God gives to us – this little child, God in the form of a man, coming to our world with the express purpose to save us from our sin-tangled lives. This is the gift we receive each and every day, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

That very fact should bring us to our knees and cause the most joyful celebration in our hearts, and it’s in that celebration of what God has done for us, that we find our motivation to give back to God and to others. The gift we give back is ourselves.

May you and your family be blessed by the joy of this Christmas season.


Stewardship is about SUPPORT and SACRIFICE

By Allen Moyer, Stewardship Chair

Mark Allen Powell suggests in his book, Giving to God, that faithful giving within a church is of two different types:

  1. Providing support to the congregations of which Christians are a part, with reasonable contributions proportionate to their income and circumstances
  2. Allen Moyer, Stewardship Chair
    Allen Moyer
  3. Christians usually moved by Scripture and the Spirit who go beyond providing support to give up a further portion of their money as a sacrifice

The good news of stewardship is found in the arena of sacrificial giving.

Why should you consider extending your financial support to financial sacrifice? Powell has three suggestions:

  1. Giving away our money is a definitive act of worship – we take something of value and give it up as an act of devotion to God.
  2. Giving away our money is a demonstrable way of expressing our faith, of acting on what we believe.
  3. Giving away our money is a spiritual discipline that frees us from the inevitable pull of materialism that would draw our hearts away from God and from the things that matter most.

As we head toward the home stretch in our stewardship campaign, I again want to urge you to give prayerful consideration to pledging your financial support to First Presbyterian Church – We are about 40% toward our commitment goal. If you haven’t pledged yet, I’m asking for your support of our church’s mission in the coming year.

There are crucial times ahead for our church, and if you’re one who is hesitant about committing financial resources until important decisions have been made and questions resolved, realize that it’s important that the work of the church continue even through difficult and challenging circumstances.
Thank you for your financial support and sacrifice.


Stewardship is about NEW BEGINNINGS

By Allen Moyer, Stewardship Chair

Allen Moyer, Stewardship Chair
Allen Moyer

I had the privilege of attending a Sunday afternoon worship service in our own sanctuary on November 15th – I’m speaking of Emanuel Fellowship Church, who began holding afternoon services this past Sunday at First Presbyterian Church.

Walking into the church I felt myself a visitor amongst a small, but vibrant congregation and often I had to remind myself that this was taking place in our own church building.

I was warmly welcomed by all who attended and while my Spanish is woefully lacking, I was able to follow Pastor Valentin’s sermon from Genesis 6 – The story of Noah and his family.

He spoke particularly of New Beginnings – God working in this righteous man and his family to renew his creation – And certainly in this fledgling congregation with which we have recently partnered.

Opening our doors to Emanuel Fellowship Church is a new adventure for First Presbyterian Church, but I can’t help thinking its good stewardship to use our God-given resources in outreach ministry to foster New Beginnings among our Christian brothers and sisters regardless of differences in culture or language.

If we as a congregation believe we see God’s hand in the creation of this new relationship, we need to seriously consider the importance of our individual role in providing the financial resources necessary to continue our ability to serve in this way. Prayerfully ask God to direct your decisions about pledging financial support for our church.

I will not soon forget Pastor Valentin’s excitement in our conversation after the service, about the potential to grow his church in this “new” location – Praise God for this opportunity to be part of a New Beginning at First Presbyterian Church and Emanuel Fellowship Church.


Stewardship is an EXPRESSION of FAITH

By Allen Moyer, Stewardship Chair

Allen Moyer, Stewardship Chair
Allen Moyer
In the Bible there are many examples of “good” and “bad” stewards. (See Matthew 21:33-43, 24:45-51, 25:14-30 and Luke 16:1-10) – Good stewards are described as being faithful, wise, and trustworthy.

Bad stewardship is not just a matter of negligence or carelessness but often a fundamental misunderstanding or false claim regarding ownership – Sometimes we forget that the property entrusted to us is actually not our own.

We all live in this world as stewards of God, entrusted with caring for all that God so generously allows us to use. We own nothing but manage everything.

God trusts us in a way that we are reluctant to trust each other (or ourselves) and places confidence in us beyond anything that our record thus far would seem to warrant. We should at least realize what a high privilege it is, to be stewards of God.

We offer with joy and thanksgiving what you have first given us – ourselves, our time, and our possessions…

Paraphrased from Giving to God by Mark Allan Powell.

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