In a couple weeks, we will celebrate Pledge Sunday on October 10. In editing that sentence, we might consider replacing the word celebrate. It might sound more fitting to say observe or recognize. Stewardship has a tone of duty or responsibility, which is not always synonymous with celebration, but celebrate we will.

As we look through the Preliminary Budget, we celebrate ministries for our children, youth and college students. We notice ministries to our surrounding community as well as needs located around the world. We budget for our music ministry and worship together. We maintain our buildings and vehicles, which we take on retreats. We celebrate these joint efforts and future commitments!

Our celebration, though, is not limited to the items in the budget because the reasons we give of our time and finances are much broader. We celebrate all the many ways in which God’s grace, both seen and unseen, are found in our lives. We celebrate God’s generosity with our commitments and gifts.

Finally, we celebrate our gratitude for one another! If we consider the mutual support and shared community of the church, which surrounds our lives and shapes our faith, we can celebrate the responsibility of stewardship. It undergirds the bonds of fellowship and practical ministry of the church, enabling us to gather, serve, and worship with one another!

We approach the celebration of stewardship with thanksgiving, offering our prayers of gratitude. We might use this prayer during this season of stewardship.

God of many blessings,

Enable and encourage us to be faithful stewards

of all that you have provided,

in the abundance of your generosity

and through the gifts of your grace.

As we celebrate, we offer our thanksgiving to one another. We will not put on party hats or blow out candles, but we will celebrate the shared commitments of the congregation, as we celebrate the abundance of God’s love for us all!