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Dear Friends,

We have enjoyed our journey in exploring what it means to be deeply committed Christians, walking more closely with Jesus, and growing in faith every day through five essential practices: Worship/Pray, Study, Serve, Give and Share.

Last Sunday in worship, we focused on how generous and loving our God is and how we are created to be generous and loving children of God. We learned that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6.21) and that, when we give, we will receive in abundance, a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over (Luke 6:38). As people made in the image of God, we are called to live with a spirit of abundance and not scarcity and to look at life from a God perspective. God has big plans for First Church, and we are invited to participate in those plans as partners in loving God's people and transforming the world.

Our challenge is to practice five acts of generosity each month. How can we bless a friend, neighbor, co-worker, or even a stranger? How can we support needs in our community and world? How can we make regular financial giving a priority in our lives?

Listen as Keith Ely shares why he gives to God through First Church. 

As part of this challenge, we are asking you to pause and prayerfully consider your giving to First Church for the coming year. If you knew that your gift made just one person feel loved and included, made just one person feel worthy and valued, made just one person see beyond the stress and despair of their daily life through the hope we find in Jesus Christ, we all would give more abundantly, wouldn't we? Well, guess what? That is what your giving does day in and day out, that is who we are as a church, as we continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world. Your commitment and investment allow us to share God’s love through community outreach and services, faith-based education and support groups, and opening our doors to everyone, offering hope to all.

In specific, we are asking you to indicate your estimate of giving by completing the printable form attached to this message or the online form.  (The printable form may be sent to the church office or brought to worship.) If possible, please return/submit the estimate on/by Sunday, November 21. During all three worship services, we will celebrate these commitments and say a prayer of blessing and thanksgiving for them. This indication of your support will not only provide a goal for your own budget, but also assist our leaders with planning our ministries to feed the hungry, clothe the cold, comfort the hurting, free the addicted, welcome the stranger and so much more!

In addition, we encourage you to remember and continue all the practices in the coming year … and beyond!

  • Worship/Prayer by worshipping with others once per week and by praying five times per day (upon waking, at breakfast, at lunch, at dinner, when going to sleep)
  • Study by reading five verses (or even five chapters) of Scripture per day and by participating in a group study on an occasional or ongoing basis
  • Serve by doing one intentional act of kindness per day – or five acts of kindness per week
  • Give by giving generously through the church to make possible its ministry and witness in the world and by doing five acts of extra-ordinary generosity towards others each month.
  • Share by, in the next year, identifying five persons whom you know and who do not attend church and by praying for them, letting your light shine before them by your good deeds, and either sharing your faith story with them or inviting them to church (especially good times being Christmas Eve and Easter).

This Sunday, November 21 in all three worship services, we will explore that last essential practice: Share. We will look at how we can let our light shine before others and how we can share our faith stories with others.

If you missed last week’s worship, you can watch it here: West Campus and Downtown.  Also, attached to this message is an informational sheet that was distributed during worship that recaps giving and summarizes our current Beyond the Mountains: Continuing the Journey stewardship campaign and Still Forever First mini-capital campaign. In addition, you may listen to Marc Ridenour talking about the downtown masonry project and matching grants in the mini-capital campaign here.

Our God is faithful and present with us always. As your pastors, our prayer is that by drawing closer to God, we may all grow in faith, increase in hope, and abound in generosity so that we at First Church may actively engage the world at its deepest needs for many, many, many years to come! 

Thank you for being a partner in the work of God and the mission of First United Methodist Church!

We look forward to connecting with you!
Rev. Kay and Rev. Jeni

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First Church, Lawrence, Ks (A United Methodist Family)
946 Vermont St
Lawrence, KS 66044-2832

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