Welcome to Emmanuel United Church of Christ

I just came from a prayer meeting with four other ministers. We meet together every other Wed. at one of our churches. Today it happened to be here. We talk about what is going on in our respective churches and lives and then go into prayer together and lift up all kinds of things. We all feel very cared for by each other.
Two of the pastors at the meeting today were from churches that tithe and have a difficult time understanding churches that do not have the tithing ethic. In their churches they do not need to have a stewardship campaign because people naturally give 10% of their income and then when anything else is needed they give over and above. Those of us who do tithe but are in churches that have not grown up tithing also have a difficult time understanding why people don’t know how much they are blessed when they give to God from the heart – maybe even having to give up something else to support God’s work in their lives, churches, and communities.
For the last two years Emmanuel has conducted a stewardship campaign. We have come up with ideas trying to encourage people to be more generous with the gifts they have been given by God. Nothing seems to have worked. Now, we are at a loss. Nobody wants to hear sermons on money all the time and preachers don’t want to preach sermons on money all the time and they really shouldn’t need to.
One of the pastors said “People just don’t realize what a privilege it is to give a tithe. They miss out on so many blessings when they don’t give back to God. If they would just try it for a while they would see the results in their lives and in the life of the church.” How true that is. How wonderful it would be not to have to always be looking at the bottom line and wonder how we are going to pay our bills next month.
We wouldn’t always be having to have suppers, and sub sales, and silent auctions, and flea markets. We would continue to have these things just because we enjoy the fellowship with one another and it gives us “extra” funds to do more good things for God’s people and God’s world whether in our own backyard or around the world. We could send people on mission trips to be a blessing and to be blessed.
Read Malachi 3:8-10 “8″Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. 10Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”
Why do we often overlook Malachi when quoting scripture?
I hear many of you say we need more members. If the members we had were truly committed to the word and work of God we could support ourselves with the members we have and then I’m sure we would be blessed with more people with whom to share God’s word and God’s love.
This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone. Our giving is published in the bulletin most Sundays so it should be obvious that we are not being generous with our resources. I don’t mean everyone. But you know who you are. Open you hearts to your church and to the work of God in your church. You don’t have to wait until January to give more. We need it now.
God bless you in your giving!


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