A Message from Ellen
October 23, 2019
The evidence that we have given our hearts to God in Christ is called “fruits of the Spirit” by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Christian Church in Galatia (Galatians 5:22+). We can evaluate our own progress in faith by evaluating our own day-to-day lives. Are we making progress in the characteristics that mark followers of Jesus – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Or are our day-to-day lives marked more by anger, envy, jealousy and greed/idolatry?
This year’s stewardship campaign centers on the characteristic of generosity as a marker of disciples of Jesus. The Greek word that Paul uses in Galatians 5:22 can be translated (as the NRSV does) as generosity, or as (in other translations) goodness or uprightness. The Greek root also shows up as a noun meaning good things, possessions or treasures. So, agathosune (the Greek word translated “generosity”) has the connotation of doing good with our possessions or treasures – hence the NRSV translation “generosity.”
I hope and pray that you took time to read through the Stewardship Packet that you received last week. If you didn’t, please pull it back out and read through the Accomplishments from 2019. I was amazed when I began to read that list. There is a lot of generosity, faithfulness and transformation to celebrate there. We did a lot of amazing, wonderful and important things. And that list is not all-inclusive! This congregation is very generous with their possessions, treasures and time and talents. And that allows our Church as a whole to be generous, with our building, with our benevolent giving, with our service to the community and world, and with our staff’s time and expertise.
This Sunday, October 27th, the Elders, Deacons, Officers-elect, and the Church staff will make their financial pledges in worship. The following Sunday, November 3rd, the congregation will be asked to do the same. I ask, as you pray over what you need to give to the work of our church, that you also consider what you need to give to be able to grow in your ability to become more and more generous. If you are able, and have not increased what you give, please consider doing so. If you are not able, then God knows your circumstance and allows you to grow in generosity in other areas.
The Session of this church is thoughtful and careful with what you entrust to us to use for the purposes of Forest Lake Presbyterian Church. But we need to hear from you so that we will know how to plan for next year’s work and mission. If you are going to be out of town, please mail in your pledge card, or email our bookkeeper, Stacy Rivera, at email@example.com and let her know what you plan to give.
Pray that God will cause the fruit of generosity to grow in our lives and in the life of our Church!
See you in worship.
Ellen Fowler Skidmore