Our Fall Stewardship Campaign theme for 2019 is God is ever giving—Let gratitude your banner be! This text is from a new hymn titled You Saints of God, Glad Voices Raise, with lyrics by First Saint Paul’s member David Rogner and music by Jonathan Kohrs. We will sing this hymn several times during the Fall Steward Season to remind us that God gives us everything we need; and to respond to God’s many gifts with gratitude not only through financial contributions but with our time and talents in service of the First Saint Paul’s mission to Proclaim Christ, Nurture Faith, Serve Others.
What is Consecration Sunday?
We know that it takes all our church community acting in faith through a commitment of their time, treasures, and talents, to make the ministry of First Saint Paul’s possible. On Consecration Sunday, each of us makes our annual commitment to support First Saint Paul’s mission.
As Christians, we approach giving from a biblical perspective, where all giving is based on our need to give in response to God’s unconditional love. Various ministries at First Saint Paul’s offer numerous opportunities to serve by giving our time and talents. And our financial commitment to giving is not merely in order to pay the bills, but a way for each of us to grow spiritually in our relationship with God.
For three Sundays leading up to Consecration Sunday, Pastor Johnson will lead us to consider God’s generous love for us and our spiritual need to respond:
October 20 - What has God given me?
November 3 - Let us pray: How can I respond to God’s love and generosity to me?
November 10 - What commitment can I make to service as part of this faith community in the coming year?
Each of these three Sundays during worship, we will hear God’s Word as it relates to stewardship and participate in all-ages activities that will help us understand how each of us can be good stewards of the gifts God has given us. During Fellowship following these services, Marlo Schulz-Kittl, our director of family ministry and outreach, will present activities to engage us in thinking about stewardship in the week ahead, preparing us to prayerfully consider and fill in our Plans for Giving forms on Consecration Sunday.
During the Consecration Sunday worship service
Today, we complete our Plans for Giving forms and place them in the offering plate as it passes. Then, Pastor will consecrate our Plans for Giving at the altar. This offering is the first act of consecration on Consecration Sunday!
After the worship service
We invite everyone to a free Consecration Celebration Luncheon. Dave Samber of Polo Café has created a special luncheon menu again this year. Everyone in our First Saint Paul’s households is invited to this free feast of love. The menu includes some of our First Saint Paul’s favorites—pork chops, sauerkraut, bacon-wrapped dates, crab-cake nuggets, and baked crème rûlée French toast—as well as a variety of other brunch food, including plenty of vegetarian options. You can find a complete menu on the sign-up sheet in the church narthex and on the church bulletin board.
Near the end of the meal, Jan Seefeldt, our financial secretary, will announce the number of Plans for Giving commitments received and the amount committed for 2020.
After the meal
As the Lord taught us to pray in Psalm 141, “may my prayer be set before you like incense,” we end our Consecration Sunday celebration by consecrating our thank-yous and commitments to service in a Prayer Fire on our patio. This prayer fire is the second act of consecration on Consecration Sunday.
The Stewardship Committee welcomes you to participate prayerfully in this year’s Fall Stewardship Campaign activities. Please join the First Saint Paul’s community of faith for worship on any or all of these Stewardship Sundays. We especially welcome you to worship on Consecration Sunday, November 17, and for the Consecration Celebration Luncheon and the Prayer Fire that follows.
If you and members of your household plan to attend the Consecration Celebration Luncheon, please add your name and the number of your household members planning to attend to one of the two sign-up sheets — on the bulletin board in the church hallway and on the table in the narthex. You can also RSVP by calling the church office at 312-642-7172 (be sure to leave a message if you get voicemail), or RSVP to the email invitation you receive if the church office has your email address on file.
We welcome you to be at home among us.