This Sunday is Celebration Sunday. In our worship service, we will have the opportunity to consecrate our personal commitments for the coming year. You may use the online Annual Pledge Card, bring the printed version that was mailed with quarterly statements, or detach and use the one printed in the bulletin. We invite you to prayerfully consider your offering to God through our church, fill out a card, and bring it forward at the conclusion of the worship service. Stewardship Moment from Jim Deichert, Chair of Finance
Stewardship Moment from Jim Deichert, Chair of Finance
Pastor Jordan has proclaimed his loyalty to our local soccer team - the Atlanta United and has even worn their team’s colorful scarf to church. He and I have a running debate on whether soccer or baseball is America’s pastime. I embraced the Braves when Riley and I moved to Atlanta in 1977 and endured many seasons of failure until they first went to the World Series in 1991 before winning it all in 1995.
How does a stewardship message relate to baseball (clearly our national pastime)? I have a cherished book: Baseball as a Road to God, Seeing Beyond the Game by John Sexton. As the president of New York University, Sexton taught a class on baseball literature, its history & legendary characters, and the rituals and routines of the game. The book teaches that life’s truths are known by faith and experience, not by logic and analysis. My parents instilled in me the importance of our faith in God and a strong sense of family. I got the strongest sense for the role of family from my father who was raised in an orphanage from the age of two to sixteen in the early 1900s. He also taught me to love baseball. I’ve passed the love of the game to my children and have cherished the moments we’ve gone to games together as they grew up. To my delight, two of our grandchildren play and embrace the game. Most importantly, my mother and father taught me to love and serve God and encouraged my sister and me to put our faith first by giving generously of the gifts that God has showered on us and by serving the church through mission and outreach activities. I first began practicing law as a federal prosecutor which was rich in trial experience but poor in pay. Riley and I struggled financially, often using our line of credit to pay the monthly mortgage, never saving, and living paycheck to paycheck. Only after we sat down and prioritized our household budget, giving first to the church and eliminating non-essentials did we experience the joys of giving and eventually tithing. We continue to increase the percentage of our giving to the church each year. We have grown in faith through returning a portion of the blessings God has given us. John Sexton concluded his book, saying: “Baseball for most of us, is not the road to God – indeed, it is not even a road to God. But, if given sensitive attention, it can awaken us to a dimension of life often missing in our contemporary world of hard facts and science. We can learn, through baseball, to experience life more deeply. Baseball can teach us that living simultaneously the life of faith and the life of the mind is possible, even fun.” I encourage you to consider your giving habit and where it stands in relationship to your faith – first, middle, or last. Then prayerfully consider the ties between your faith and your level of giving when you decide the gift you will pledge at the end of our Stewardship Campaign. Thank you for your commitment to Embry Hills United Methodist Church.