We begin again with gratitude, which is one way to describe the rhythms and the routines of the church. We do not start over, but we do begin again, always moving into the grace of God together. As our family looks at the empty boxes we have unloaded in our house and as we continue to put things away, we are grateful for the kindness and support we have received from the congregation as we begin again. The only words we know how to say are thank you. We are filled with a deep gratitude that is lasting, and we are overjoyed about the months and years to come.

[pullquote_right width=”50%”]As we begin again with gratitude, it is fitting to give thanks for the commitment of this congregation.[/pullquote_right]Since one way to describe the church is by beginning again with gratitude, which we do throughout our lives, it is fitting to repeat those words in the weeks to come as we enter into a season of stewardship. The Stewardship Committee has been preparing and planning, which will soon include us as a congregation in that sacred work. The committee has discussed the theme, Beginning Again with Gratitude, which will be how we enter into this stewardship season.

In the coming weeks, the church and the Stewardship Committee will invite us to consider our financial commitment to the church in the coming year. It is one of those moments in the rhythm of the church, where we can reflect, give thanks, and then begin again with the spiritual practice of giving. We do so, beginning again with gratitude. We give regularly, generously, and with hope. No one person bears the sole responsibility; we give collectively. It is one way that we are able to share the journey of faith.

As we begin again with gratitude, it is fitting to give thanks for the commitment of this congregation. We do not only reflect upon our future giving, but also give thanks for previous giving. We celebrate the generosity found in the church. We remember the shared journey, which is embodied by the commitment of the congregation to one another and seen in the ministries of the church, which are supported by tithes and offerings.

We begin again with gratitude, not only during this season of financial stewardship, but also in our time, prayers, and talents. We celebrate all of the ways in which we discover the grace of God in our midst, listening for how the Spirit of God reveals the hope before us. We then live into that hope together, beginning again and again with deep gratitude.

Auburn First Baptist Church