9/23/18 – 90 years and still giving!

Posted on : Sep 20th, 2018 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Five years ago, I began preparing our congregation for some major changes that would be happening within our membership as we anticipated the retirement of a group of longtime, faithful leaders and givers.  During these last five years I’ve been talking about our need for Next Generation Leaders and Givers.  What I then talked about as our future, is now our present reality. 

In the last few years, many of our experienced leaders have retired.  Neal and John retired and now divide their time between Hawaii and Palm Springs.  This spring Scott moved back to his home town to be with his aging father and settled into early retirement.  Last Sunday we thanked George and Louie for their 35 years of leadership and ministry in our church as they relocate to the desert.  If we expand this cycle by one year, we have Ginger who moved to Long Beach, Pat Moore who moved to the Pacific northwest, Randy who moved to Baltimore, Garry who moved to Las Vegas and Dan Terrell who passed away.  That is a lot of key leaders who have moved to other places. 

This year as we enter our season of Giving and Stewardship, we definitely have to focus hard on both giving of time and service and increasing our financial giving.  With 10 key leaders having moved away in the last five years, now more than ever, we need our Next Generation Leaders and Givers to step up.  We need everyone to increase their financial giving, so we are able to continue the ministries that we love and are engaged in.  So, when the Nominating Committee or members of the Church Council ask you to serve, I hope you will respond positively.

It just so happens that this Sunday is the perfect Sunday to focus on Next Gen Leadership and Giving.  Something happened 90 years ago, almost to the day, that impacted the life and ministry of our church, even to this day!  Do you know what it was?  Here’s a clue: it was something a woman did, something highly unusual for a never-married woman to do, especially in 1928!

The Gospel this Sunday is a story about a woman, a very poor widowed woman, whom Jesus sees walking by the temple treasury.  She tossed in two small coins, the equivalent of less than two cents.  Jesus gathered the disciples and said to them, “The others gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.” 

In recent years this passage has come under great criticism because many preachers and evangelist have used it to bilk money from the poor. In the scripture passage right before these words, Jesus condemns religious leaders for their false piety and for “stealing from widows.”  He says, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and accept greetings in the marketplaces, seats of honor in synagogues, and places of honor at banquets. They devour the houses of widows and, as a pretext, recite lengthy prayers. They will receive a very severe condemnation.”   Mark 12:38-40

So what does this poor, widowed woman have to do with the never-married woman who in 1928 did something unimaginable at that time, and from which we are still blessed today?  The gospel story is often called “the Widow’s Mite,” – “mite” meaning “tiny or small amount.”  But I think this passage should be renamed “This Woman’s MIGHT.” 

More on Sunday!

Blessings,

Dan

Mark 12:41-44

Sitting across from the offering box, Jesus was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all.”

The Message, Copyright ©, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.

 

 

Leave a Reply