“Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” Matthew 6:26
The above verse is one of my “go-to” scriptures for those times in my life when I begin to feel overwhelmed with the cares of the world and the temptation to scarcity thinking. You know – those moments when you are tempted to worry that there just isn’t enough: not enough time, not enough energy, not enough resources, not enough of whatever it is that I feel I lack. These words of Jesus always call me to refocus my heart on the marvelous power of God to provide for me by reflecting on the “simple gifts” of beauty and goodness all around me. They invite me to move from worry over scarcity, to trust and rest in God’s providential care. They challenge me to dwell in gratitude, giving thanks for all God’s gifts in my life.
On Sunday, October 17, we will be kicking off this year’s generosity emphasis by reflecting on the “Simple Gifts” that God pours into our lives and the ways that God calls us to be faithful stewards of those gifts, using them to bless others and make a difference in the world. What are the gifts that God has placed into our care? How can we best serve God and the work of God’s kingdom by using those gifts well and wisely? How can we grow in our trust in God by living with an open hand, sharing our gifts, no matter how simple, as a response of joy and gratitude for all of God’s blessings in our lives? How can we take the next step in our spiritual journey by learning to live and give generously of our time, our talents, and our resources?
These are the questions we will be considering as we journey together through this 3-week message series. These are deeply spiritual questions that challenge us to allow the heart of Christ to shape our priorities every day. We will reflect on what it means for us to fulfill our commitment to Christ’s church by committing ourselves to offer our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness to God’s Kingdom work at Suntree UMC.
Below are some resources to help you begin to think about your decision regarding your financial resources and your time and talent. This year we will be asking each person to consider making both an estimate of their financial gifts and a time and talent commitment to the ministry of God’s church. What is amazing is the way God uses every gift, no matter how simple, to do things we might never imagine.
We pray that you plan to join us in worship either in-person or online as we begin this journey together, celebrating the simple gifts of God that are all around us.
You are being invited, as people who care about the life and ministry of our church, to participate in Taking the Next Step Sunday on October 31 (in person or online). We pray this whole month of worship will be a special time to celebrate God’s presence and gifts in our lives and to thank God for carrying us all through a very challenging season.
As a part of the Simple Gifts Generosity campaign and in your own personal generosity, we are encouraging everyone to to fill out an "Estimate of Giving Card". This card is a way Remember that this card is a statement of faith and a statement of intention, not a legal contract. It can be changed at any time, up or down, by contacting the church office.
Personal Growth Plan
The Personal Growth plan is essentially just a paper calculator to quickly calculate the percentage your household is giving.
This is a tool designed to hep you find your current income and the percentage that your giving represents and then prayerfully consider taking the next step towards a tithe or whichever level God is leading you to give
Below are some videos of people at Suntree United Methodist Church who have told their stories about how God's generosity has impacted their life, and in turn have passed on that generosity:
Are you ready to take the next step?
If you feel ready to take the next step in your giving and have answered the question "Lord, where do you want me to be in my giving?", then select one of the options below to fill out an estimate of giving card!
You can either download a pdf version of the card, fill it out, and return it to the church office, OR fill out the online form and have your estimate of giving sent directly to the church finance office. As always, your information will remain confidential and only our church finance administrator will see your information.