The Fruits of the Spirit: Giving as Spiritual Practice Our Stewardship Campaign for 2016

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Tree of LifeFirst United Methodist Church of Boulder’s 2016 finance campaign is underway! Pledge Dedication Sunday is October 4th. You may have received a pledge card in the mail. If you did not, cards are available in the church office, or during worship on Sundays.

Here is a message from Wes Goodson, the Chair of this year’s campaign, and Pat Bruns, our Senior Pastor:

Dear Friends of First United Methodist Church of Boulder,

The first thing we’d like to do is thank you for all your gifts, monetary and otherwise, that you have given to our church in the past. We have a very generous congregation. Monetary contributions to our church exceed the average giving of churches our size and churches within the Western Jurisdiction of United Methodist Churches. Last year during our campaign, we said we were going to operate within a balanced budget. Pledges were about $355,000. Giving is on target, and staffing has been realigned to stay within our financial means.

So during this campaign, we ask that you give what you can. Hopefully, that will be as much or even more than you have been giving in the past. Our committee has spent most of our efforts to show people how worthwhile their gifts are, and how those gifts are making a difference.

Over the past year, our church has been concentrating our efforts in three areas: Spiritual Growth/Worship, Family Life/Education, and Mission and Justice. Last year’s finance campaign theme was “Expanding Branches and Deepening Roots.” We used the imagery of a tree. So, staying consistent with those efforts, we turned to Galatians 5:22-23 for our inspiration for this year’s theme: Fruits of the Spirit: Giving as Spiritual Practice.

We are using this finance campaign period as an educational opportunity for everyone to reflect and explore how gifts and giving can help spiritual growth. Over the past couple of weeks and throughout the campaign, we are asking the following four questions:
1. What are your gifts?
2. What does the church mean to you?
3. What is the connection between giving and spirituality?
4. What does giving have to do with my relationship with God?

Give these questions some thought. Answers to these questions help each of us realize what spiritual fruit we have harvested, and how giving develops our spirituality. When you have an answer to a question, we invite you to take a selfie video of you answering it, and send it to Rich Saxon at rcsaxon at aol dot com. We would like to catalog as many responses to these questions as we can.

Rich has already created a beautiful video of some responses to the second question. Check it out!

fruit of the spiritDuring our campaign, we encourage you to write what fruit has been given to you by the spiritual tree known as First United Methodist Church of Boulder, and stick it on our special tree in the narthex. You will be given several opportunities to do this over the next three weeks; you can hang your “fruit” on the tree during worship, or whenever you stop by the church. Fruit-shaped sticky notes will be available during worship, or feel free to create your own.

We are also going to share some compelling stories about FUMC Boulder during church services. If you have a story to tell, we would like to hear it. Please keep your story short, about 300 words, no more than one page. Please email your story to Pat: patrickrbruns at gmail dot com.

pie_raisin_lattice_crustWe’d like to bring all this together on Commitment Sunday, October 4, during our 10:30 am worship service. We will bring our pledges forward during worship and give thanks for them all. After church, we will celebrate with a Pie Party. If you would like to bring a pie to share, please notify the church office. And remember, chocolate, peanut butter, lime, lemon, coconut, pumpkin, and pecans are all technically fruit. As are apples, cherries, peaches, strawberries, rhubarb, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.

God Blesses Us All, and Thank You for Giving to Our Church,

Wes Goodson, Chair, Finance Campaign Leadership Team

Pat Bruns, Senior Pastor