Dear Friends and Members of FPC-A,
As you’ll see in this packet, the theme verse of our 2023 Stewardship Campaign, adapted from Philippians 4:13, is “We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.”
Whenever I read this verse, I think first of Margaret. Margaret was in the senior adult choir I directed during college, and she always signed birthday, anniversary, or sympathy cards with her name and “Phil 4:13.” She had endured some of life’s greatest tragedies at an early age, the loss of a spouse and a child, and that small verse became a touchstone of her faith. In every circumstance, she wanted to remind her friends that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.
When it comes to stewardship, this verse reminds us of an important truth: our giving comes out of the abundance that God has given and will give to us. A fear of scarcity is always lurking around us, the fear that we will not have enough to do what is needed. Yet the Apostle Paul reminds us that in Christ, and therefore in God’s great love for us, we will always have more than enough. This assurance is the source of our strength – as Paul says – in all things. There is no situation where the presence of God’s love and abundant provision will not be enough to sustain us and see us through. On the basis of this promise, we can live with confident joy and generosity in every season.
This year, the session is asking us to “Be Part of the We.” This is an invitation to join hands and share our resources to provide for the work of the church in the year ahead. FPC-A is thriving with new life and energy in ways we could have only dreamed of a few years ago. At the same time, as you know, today’s economic picture is more challenging than we imagined it would be, and because of that the session is asking us to help fund a larger budget. I am confident we can and will do that because of your generosity.
Each of us should give according to our ability and as an expression of our faith. Every gift matters, whether large or small, because it unites us in shared ministry. What we can do together is always more than we imagine, and what we do together is very often how God’s strength and love shows up in our lives. Thank you for your careful and prayerful attention to this year’s campaign. Because of God’s abundance, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.
Together in Christ,
Rev. Patrick W. T. Johnson, Ph.D.
Pastor/Head of Staff