FROM SHOWERS TO FLOWERS
by Pastor Melba
Did you ever think you would be singing “Rain Drops Keep Falling on my Head” and “Pennies from Heaven” in church? Well we did! And what’s more, we had a great time singing it and it was relevant to our stewardship program. Confused? Let me explain.
The P.L.U.M. pastors are known for their retreats and crazy ideas. Right? The latest retreat was a progressive dinner with a focus on stewardship. We did “showers of appetizers, leap to soup and salad, a bountiful main course, and the blooming desserts”. We played games, planted flowers, and decorated umbrellas. We sang great songs like “Rain Drops Keep Falling on my Head”, “Oh Day Full of Grace”, “Pennies From Heaven”, “I Love to tell the Story” and “Shine Jesus Shine”.
There were forty people taking part in an evening filled with fun, fellowship, and learning. The ol’ regulars were there along with some new folks. Fun was had by all. And why? Because, we need to grow - just like the flowers that awaken from their winter sleep, we need to wake up and grow in our stewardship response.
Stewardship means “belonging to God" - all that we are and all that we have comes from God. We are grateful to God for it all, and responsible to God for how we use it. There is a connection between stewardship and spirituality: generous giving as a spiritual discipline helps us to grow in Christ. “Duty and delight” are both motivating factors for giving - doing what we ought to do as responsible church members, and making cheerful sacrifices out of love for God. (“Make it Simple” - ELCA stewardship program). This is GOOD NEWS!
We learned through Genesis 1:28-30 that we have Dominion over the earth because God gave it to us through his love. Dominion means responsibility, not dominance.
In Ephesians 4:1-16 we are reminded of the Gifts God has given us and that we are one joined and knit together which promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.
We heard In Exodus 16:2-4 that God gives us what we need (manna) each and every day. We learned that GAP wasn’t a clothing store - it means God always provides.
Mark 12:41-22 pointed out how the widow didn’t give 10% - no, she gave 100%. And we think we can’t give more?
We read Matthew 28:16-20 and heard Jesus telling us to GO - get off our behinds and make disciples. Tell your story to anyone you meet. And invite those you meet to join you in the celebration of our Resurrected Lord.
We were given the tools to build a year round stewardship program that includes: Earth keeping, Growth, Giftedness, Finances, Lifestyle, and Planning.
Remember - “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matt. 5:14-16
All that we have and all that we are belongs to God. May we be good stewards of the marvelous love and grace filled gifts our Lord gives so generously to us.
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sheraden, 3102 Sherwood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15204 412-331-0600