Where Your Treasure Is . . .

Where Your Treasure Is . . .

General
In a modern illustration of Jesus' parable of the pearl of great price (Matthew 13:45), a woman finds a valuable pearl in an obscure shop. The merchant says he will give it to the woman in exchange for everything she has. Wanting badly to own the pearl, she writes a check for several thousand dollars, emptying her savings and checking accounts. The merchant asks, "What about your house?" The woman signs over the deed. "What about your two cars?" She signs them both over to him. "What about your boat and your vacation home? Your stocks and bonds, retirement funds, and life insurance?" The woman transfers all of these to the merchant. Then the merchant says, "Now the pearl is yours." The woman is delighted! She turns to leave, but…
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Generosity on the Highway

Generosity on the Highway

General
Once, when I was a penny poor student, I was driving on the highway and had a tire blow out on my car. The car turned 180 degrees so that I was facing oncoming traffic in the left hand lane. Fortunately no one was immediately behind me and, stunned as I was, I was able to pull over to the side of the road. I was terrified, miles from school and miles from home. I was also miles from an exit! The shoulder was narrow, and a sheer rock face made it impossible to turn my car around or even exit the vehicle without putting myself into oncoming traffic lanes. I had no phone, no credit card, and less than $20 in my pocket. My situation looked hopeless! A passing…
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An Annual Congregational Stewardship Emphasis: Growing Faithful Stewards

An Annual Congregational Stewardship Emphasis: Growing Faithful Stewards

General
Each year First Christian Church in Gibson City, Illinois conducts an annual financial stewardship emphasis. While we are certain there are many reasons not to embark on such an adventure, we do anyway. This emphasis specifically provides an environment for growing our giving to the ministry and mission supported by our operating fund. Our emphasis begins with three foundational affirmations: Growing Stewards Rather than increasing stewardship or increasing giving, the primary focus of our annual emphasis is to grow stewards. R. Scott Rodin, in Stewards in the Kingdom, acknowledges  John Calvin’s phrase “framing our lives.” More important than what we have and what we give is who we are as disciples of Jesus Christ engaged in ministry and mission. A Culture of Generosity Within and through the congregation we have endeavored…
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