Eleven-year-old Squire Graves stood nervously before the Renton, Washington, Community of Christ congregation. This particular Sunday was an especially eventful day for him because, in addition to giving the offertory at church that morning, he was going to celebrate his birthday that afternoon. But his party would not be a typical eleven-year-old's birthday party, and Squire decided that participating in the offertory would be the perfect time for him to talk about his pending celebration. He walked up to the microphone and began his story.
“My folks always let me have a party on my birthday. Four years ago, I was thinking about what I wanted, and I decided I didn't really want anything. I had everything I needed. I told my friends that instead of bringing me a present for my birthday, they could bring some food to take to the food bank. All my friends came, and most of them brought one or two big shopping bags of food.
Now we do it every year. When my friends bring their bags of food to the party this afternoon, we'll take all of the food down to the food bank, which our church helps, and it helps a lot of people. I really like doing my birthdays this way and so does my younger brother, Arthur. We plan to keep on doing it. I think that's what Jesus would want us to do."
This stewardship story is excerpted from the article "The Power of Story" in the Giving: Growing Joyful Stewards in Your Congregation issue "Blessed Be the Lord God" based on I Corinthians 16:1-4. The Blessed Be the Lord God CD contains files for all the materials produced for this theme, including the magazine, worship and study resources, promotional materials, and implementation suggestions. Learn more and order in the ESC webstore.