To the saints at ESUMC and friends around the world,
Greetings to you in the generous name of our Lord Jesus Christ who richly showers upon us God’s love and mercy.
November is Stewardship Month with the theme “Jikelele—Christ Everywhere”. Jikelele is a Zulu word meaning universal or everywhere. In the church we understand Christ is jikelele, everywhere. We know that no matter where we go, what we do, or what we need, Christ will be there. As the church we are the body of Christ and like Christ we too are jikelele, everywhere.
During the month we intentionally recall God’s call in our lives and upholding our membership vows. As ESUMC members we commit our prayers, presence, gifts (including money), service, and witness to serve Christ and the Church. In Pastor Matthew’s sermon on Nov. 6th he said
“Stewardship is about God’s love working within every aspect of our lives. As God’s love infuses our lives, we can’t help but share all we have in Christ’s name. As we are enveloped in God’s saving love, we find ourselves wanting to pray for our neighbors, families, and enemies. We find that we want to give our time, our talents and skills, and our money to support the sharing of God’s love with the world. We find that we want to share our witness, telling the whole world how God in Christ changed us. This is stewardship—sharing our prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. When Jesus says lay down your life for each other [cf. John 15:9ff], he is saying share all you have to love. Stewardship is about seeing Christ in each other and giving all you possess in order to love. We look to Christ who gave his life to love and to the saints whose lives are examples of sacrificial love.”
On Sunday you will receive an Estimate of Giving form where you will be able to make your annual financial pledge. Additionally you will be given a Ministry and Leadership Form; this form provides opportunities for you to commit to pray for the church and participate in our ministries. Both forms are helpful instruments for declaring your stewardship commitment for 2017.
Furthermore on Tuesday, November 29th, there will be again “UMC #GivingTuesday”. We have organized our own “matching fund” of €4,000 from several donors of our congregation. Any donation given toward Giving Tuesday (and received by Nov. 29) will be matched Euro to Euro up to €4,000. However, we must raise €4,000 in order to receive the full matching funds. All Giving Tuesday donations must be specifically marked. The matching funds are only above regular donations.
How can I give toward Giving Tuesday? You may
- Give cash in the special envelopes marked ‘Giving Tuesday’ this Sunday (20/11) and next Sunday (27/11)
- Make an electronic bank transfer to ESUMC indicating the purpose ‘Giving Tuesday’. Your transfer must be received by 28/11
- Contact a member of the Finance Committee
We praise God for an abundant year. Through your giving ESUMC has been engaged in mission and outreach in the world. In 2016 we have worshipped every Sunday, employed a full-time pastor, extended Bible studies, offered children’s Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, opened the church to our neighbors through the Wärmestube program, provided shelter to refugee families, and many other things. With your help, commitment, and generosity, 2017 will be another amazing year lead by the Holy Spirit and filled with God’s saving love. Thank you for generously giving so we together can make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
We invite you to prayerfully consider how you will give your time, talent, and treasure to enable ESUMC’s mission.
The ESUMC Finance Committee
Franz Haslinger, Chair
Rev. Matthew A. Laferty
Oscar van Rooy