Tenth Sunday After Pentecost - Pastor's Message

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

Why give? Perhaps you have asked this question at one time or another.

We Christians give not because the church needs money in order to operate (though, of course, we do!). We Christians give not based on whether we agree or disagree with everything the church does or says. We Christians give not to gain favor with God or to impress our neighbors. No, we Christians give, first and foremost, because God gives to us! We Christians give in thankful and joyful response to all that God in Christ has already done and continues to do for us! We Christians give because giving our time, talents, and our treasure is an essential part of what it means to be a follower of Jesus! We Christians give because giving is simply who we are! And, let’s be honest, the more we give, the better it feels! In the words of St. Paul, “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

In addition to helping us connect more effectively with one another, our new REALM online church management system also makes giving to St. John’s a whole lot easier. First, once you set up your account on REALM, you will have 24/7 access to your record of giving and will be able to

see exactly how much you have given to date and where your gifts have gone. You will also have the option of receiving your quarterly giving statements online instead of through the mail, if you prefer. Second, you will be able to manage your giving from wherever you are, increasing or decreasing your pledge at any time. You will also be able to make special gifts directly online, designating such gifts exactly as you wish. Third, through REALM all of us will have the option of giving by text through our mobile app, setting up electronic giving, or giving online using either credit or debit. In a world in which very few people still use cash or checks (the traditional ways people have given to the church), REALM helps us connect with new generations of givers for whom paying by cash or check seems archaic.

So, how do you connect with REALM? Watch your e-mail in the week leading up to Rally Day Weekend, September 7-8. You will receive an e-mail invite from St. John’s to connect with REALM. Simply click on the link and follow the instructions to set up your own password. Then, come to our Rally Weekend Celebration and see firsthand how REALM will help us more effectively be and make disciples of Christ TOGETHER!

(And, don’t worry! If you need some extra help getting set-up, St. John’s staff will be available in the Adult Meeting Room throughout Rally Weekend ready to help and assist!)

And, remember, giving is simply what we Christians do to have fun!