January 29, 2017 – Stewardship

We deviated from the lectionary with the stewardship campaign.

Links of Interest/Bibliography:

Working Preacher – Commentary, Dear Working Preacher 1, Dear Working Preacher 2

Word & World

The Freedom of Obedience

Delete repeated word

Composition of the human body


St. Luke’s United Church
January 29th, 2017
Words of Welcome and Announcements
Welcome to St. Luke’s, a proud congregation of the United Church of Canada. If this is your first time with us, please be sure to come across the hall for coffee/tea and snacks after worship. We have visitor offering envelopes available from the greeters, as well as a “Welcome Brochure” outlining our contact information. If you have come looking to speak to someone, please be sure to find one of our Pastoral Care Volunteers wearing an “I am here to listen” nametag.

Hymn Call By Earth and Sky MV 135

Call to Worship:
One: What brings you here today?
Any who identify: A sense of duty.
One: What brings you here today?
Any who identify: The commitment to community.
One: What brings you here today?
Any who identify: The opportunity to celebrate and give thanks.
One: What brings you here today?
Any who identify: A need to experience the Holy.
One: What brings you here today?
Any other reasons: …(Please share other reasons)…
One: Whatever brings you here, I’m glad that you came. Thank you for joining me as we worship.

Lighting the Christ Candle & Centering

Opening Prayer:
Source of Abundance,
As we gather this hour, may it be filled with learning, and reflecting. May we be filled with Grace and Spirit. May it be so.

Hymn Jesus Bids Us Shine VU 585

What is Stewardship?

Readings Matthew 5:13-16

Hymn All Praise to You VU 297

Salt & Light
Sometimes it’s a little too easy to focus on the negative. We finished the year with a deficit. There are so many fewer people here on Sunday mornings than there used to be. And I’m going to stop right there. No one needs to be reminded of the ways they wish they were different. It’s something though that many people do constantly. Not only do people do it to each other, but the media does it. Society has adopted a culture of “telling it like it is”. But there’s a difference in “telling it like it is” and being rude. Unfortunately, so many times it’s rude.
I’m going to suggest that we use this stewardship campaign to start a culture shift. I’m going to start with our scripture for this campaign:
Together, we are salt of the earth and light during shining out into the night.
Let me tell you how we are salt of the earth. Salt is a natural product of the earth. In fact the elements that make up table salt as we know it also makes up around 15% of the human body. Too much salt though can be bad for the body. Salt is natural balance. And so are we. We work hard to achieve natural balance. A balance of theology, a balance of age, a balance of lifestyles and backgrounds. We work hard to ensure we have a balance of rentals and church events, income and expense, old and new, familiar and challenging. We work hard to be balanced, and for the most part, we’re doing ok. So we’ll keep on working at the balance thing.
When I think of light and being light to the world, I think of lighthouses. Lighthouses show the safest route to take to reach the destination. Lighthouses are a sign that someone is out there, caring about people they don’t even know. We are lighthouses in our relationship with the Marguerite Centre, in our donations to the foodbank, in our desire to offer affordable meeting space to numerous community groups, and in our efforts to welcome refugee families. We work hard to be a lighthouse, and we’re doing well.
We’re doing well at being salt and light, but that doesn’t always mean we’re successful with all of our pursuits. Sometimes we need to look at what doesn’t feel successful and figure out what we learned from it. For example, we had a bit of a deficit this year, not huge, but still a deficit. During council’s pre-AGM meeting we discussed why we didn’t have the income we anticipated, and where we spent more than expected. We decided to be a bit more open about our costs, and more open about how we fund our expenses. Stewardship already had our stewardship campaign prepared, so we have woven in educational elements to hopefully clarify what our financial situation really is. Now in this two weeks, we are hoping to discover what you love about St. Luke’s and the United Church as a whole. Learning what’s is important to each other will not only spark us to be saltier and shine our light further, but hopefully it will help us to fall in love a little more with St. Luke’s and the United Church as a whole.
So here’s my story of why I give.
I have always been a United Church person. As many people do in their late teens and early twenties, I drifted away from the church. Not far mind you, but I was ready to leave. All it would have taken was one negative encounter. Luckily, that didn’t happen before I began to understand my role in church world and why I loved the United Church so much. I love how the United Church welcomes people who are different. I love how we are more about living our lives authentically than we are about keeping up appearances. The United Church is ok with my insecurities and my questions, accepting me for who I am and not asking me to change. I love how we speak up for those who are not in the majority, not only in our own communities, but across the country and across the world. As for, the reasons I love St. Luke’s, I love our dedication to each other, I love our openness to trying new things and our desire to grown into who we are as people of faith and as a community of faith. What do you love about St. Luke’s? What compels you to give your time and talent to St. Luke’s? What compels you to give?

Minute for Mission

Offering Invitation
The Offering is a perfect time to practice being a steward. It is a time to examine what you are able to give and where it can be best used for the good of the whole.

Offertory Though I May Speak VU 372 v. 2

Offering Prayer
May these gifts and those given through PAR become a commitment to living as salt and light to the world. Amen.

Prayer Music Pure Love MV 31

Prayers of the People
Ending with the sung Prayer of Jesus.
During the Prayer of Jesus, you are invited to use the translation and language of your choice. A variety of translations and expressions of the Prayer of Jesus (also known as The Lord’s Prayer) can be found in Voices United pages 916-927.

Commissioning and Benediction

Musical Blessing Go Make a Diff’rence MV 209

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