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Immanuel Lutheran church

Stewardship

Immanuel Lutheran church

Stewardship

2022 pledge. Plan. promise.

Dear member of Immanuel,

 Pledge.  Plan.  Promise.  Three words.  Three ways to think about the form below.  Three reasons to complete it for 2022.

 Pledge card.  In recent years the word pledge has fallen out of fashion, except for college students who still pledge fraternities and sororities and school children who stand each morning and pledge allegiance to the flag.  But when you think about it, these examples of pledging are analogous to what we are doing when we make a pledge.  Pledging is a way of declaring our ultimate loyalty to Christ and his church.  We are saying in a tangible way what we say each Sunday when we confess the Creed, namely, that Jesus is Lord and that we are members of his body the church.    

 Generosity plan.  Today it is common to hear churches talk about the enclosed form as a generosity plan.  This too is a helpful way of thinking, though it may sound oxymoronic.  Some equate generosity with spontaneity.  Making a plan to be generous seems to take the fun out of it.  But good planning can allow for giving, spontaneous or otherwise, to have a bigger impact.  More generally, planning to give is part of good stewardship of all the resources God gives us to manage.  Budgeting for generosity encourages us to think about the money we give not as discretionary (from what is left over) but as primary (of first importance), which is a Christian way of thinking and living, based on the premise that we live in the kingdom of a generous God whose plans for us are good.

 Commitment form.  In an age of commitment phobia, making a promise and keeping it is increasingly a counter-cultural thing to do.  But when we look to the Scriptures, we find there a God who limits his freedom by binding himself to his people with promises.  We see the radical commitment of God to us in connecting his promises to his Son.  Bound to a cross and raised from the dead, Jesus is a sure sign that God will make good on his promises to forgive us and give us life forever with him.  Trusting in his promises, we are invited to make promises in response and, with God’s help, keep them.  In this way, we become credible witnesses to the God whose promises we proclaim.  Making a commitment to support the church financially is one important way to do that.  It is also a concrete way to exercise faith in the promises of God to provide for us in the future, so that we might continue to live generously (2 Cor. 9:11). 

 On November 21, Christ the King Sunday, you are invited to return the completed forms to the Lord as an act of worship.  May it be for you a way of pledging your allegiance to Jesus Christ, offering up your plans to him, and demonstrating your trust in his promises to provide for you in the coming year.  If you need more time, you can always drop your form off at the church office at your convenience. 

Finally, and on behalf of the staff of Immanuel Lutheran Church and School, let me say how grateful we are for the continued partnership we share with you, as together we make known the promises of the Lord Jesus, in whom we see the generous and gracious plan of God unfolding for us and the whole creation.

Blessings and peace,

 

Pastor Fields

Biblical Stewardship Videos

2022 form

GIVING FAQ

WHY GIVE?

Why we give matters more to God than how much.  Here are three good reasons to give:

  1. We give as an act of love. The essence of worship is sacrifice—giving up something we value out of love and devotion for God.  In his book Giving to God, Mark Allen Powell writes, “Church offerings are not fund-raising rituals but acts of worship in which we are invited to express our heartfelt devotion to the God who is so good to us” (12).  True love for God expresses itself in love for our neighbor, “especially those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:10).         
  2. We give as an expression of faith. Giving puts into practice our faith in God as our creator, our redeemer, and our sanctifier.  All that we are and all that we have belongs to the God who made heaven and earth.  When we give, we acknowledge that we are stewards, not owners, of all that is God’s.  More than that, we have been redeemed to live under Christ in his kingdom.  He who shed his own blood to make us his own will surely take care of us; giving is an expression of confidence in this promise.  To believe that God is our sanctifier is to believe that the Spirit has set us apart for his purposes.  When we give, we participate with God in his ongoing mission to make his love known to the world.
  3. We give to train our hearts. What we do with our money affects us spiritually, which is one of the reasons why Jesus talked about money as much as he did.  He said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).  How we spend our money not only reveals what kind of people we are but also can determine what kind of people we will become.  This is good news!  In the words of Mark Allen Powell, “We can decide what sort of people we want to be, and then give our treasure—our time, our talents, and our money—to those things that we want to care about”  (Giving to God, 54).  Want to grow in your affection for Christ and your commitment to his mission?  Give more of yourself to Christ’s body the church and see what happens.

NEW TO GIVING OR NOT SURE HOW MUCH TO GIVE?

The Bible teaches God’s people to practice regular, proportionate giving.  Several Old Testament passages refer to a tithe.  A tithe is a tenth of one’s income, set aside to support the work of the Lord’s church.  For some a tithe is a goal to work toward; for others it is a joy to exceed.  If you have never given, or if you are not in the habit of regular giving, consider beginning by giving regularly a percentage of your income.  Then add a percent each year. Click here for a helpful chart. 

HOW DO I GIVE?

Envelopes are mailed to every household quarterly.  Numbers on the envelopes allow the church to keep track of contributions.  The envelopes also provide direction for offerings you may give above and beyond your commitment.  You can also give electronically.  To sign up, go to www.immanuelvalpo.org and click “give” or contact Jan Shelby, Immanuel’s finance administrator.  She can be reached at 219-462-8207 x264 or by email at ilcfinance@immanuelvalpo.org.

HOW DO I MAKE A COMMITMENT?

This year, commitment forms may be returned in person, by mail, or electronically. 

Option 1:   Fill out the form return it in worship on Saturday or Sunday, November 20-21. 

Option 2:   If you cannot make it to in person worship or need more time, fill out the commitment form and bring it by the church office at your convenience.  You can also mail it in.

Options 3: This year, you can make your commitment electronically.  Click this link, fill out the information form, and click submit.  

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At Immanuel, we believe that you can be transformed by experiencing life with God in Christ. Our mission is to equip people for this kind of transformation by connecting people with Christ in a life of worship, learning, and service, whether you are exploring Christianity for the first time or grew up attending church.

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