This is a season of gratitude and giving thanks. During November, we are remembering, with gratitude, Jesus’ words, “I am the vine and you are the branches. Stay joined to me and you will bear much fruit.”
We are thankful that for our spiritual connection to Jesus. We nurture that connection in many ways: praying, reading and studying the bible, coming to worship, acting for justice and compassion in our communities and the world, and by becoming generous givers.
For Stewart and me, thing (giving away 10% or our income) is a spiritual practice that helps us stay connected to Jesus. We support several justice seeking organizations, but we give a large part of our tithe to the church, for several reasons. Giving money away helps us keep money and material from holding us too tightly in its grasp. It reminds us to practice gratitude for what we have. And giving to the church helps us stay connected to Jesus as we share with you and others the joy and challenge of sharing God’s love with very concrete ways.
Our journey to thing was not instantaneous – we had to make a plan to grow towards tithing and work on it intentionally over a period of time. But it has been a great feeling to reach that goal.
During November, we are inviting First United Methodist Church to become a tith ing congregation. We know that the spiritual rewards are great and we know that many of you are already on that journey.
Let us pray together that God will give us the grace and the discipline to become generous givers, staying connected to Jesus the vine.