Thanks be to God for the beautiful fall weather we are having! The leaves are beginning to turn, the humidity has gone south for the winter, and the sky has returned to that divine shade of Carolina blue again. Sorry! I hope that you and yours are continuing to be safe and healthy during these turbulent times. May God continue to give us what we need to persevere during this protracted pandemic. And let us keep one another in prayer.
If in the spring time our attention turns to flowers and romance, then in autumn it turns to pumpkins and gratitude. One great word for the season of fall is abundance. We are surrounded by an abundant harvest of late crops, like pumpkins, peppers, and pecans and a superabundance of colors as the trees put forth their annual display of beauty. This is why we gather with family and friends around tables laden with the fruits of the fields and give thanks to a generous God who loves us with a love that will not let us go. Certainly the fact that churches raise money in the fall to support their ministry and mission is no accident. How wise and appropriate to connect Christian stewardship with gratitude for our many blessings form God. This makes perfectly good sense.
Right now our Stewardship team is rolling out its 2021 stewardship campaign to give us all an opportunity to count our many blessings and to make a decision about how we will give thanks to God for these blessings with the commitment of our time, skills, and treasure to support the work of the church in 2021. This, of course, is a delicate time to talk about money, given the difficulties and uncertainty facing us all. We continue to be equally amazed and grateful that our congregation has been able to be so generous in its financial giving this year. We had fully feared and expected giving to fall off, but it hasn’t. So, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and faithfulness during these hard times. I am truly humbled.
As you listen to my sermons and the testimonials from fellow members and read the communications from the Stewardship team in the next few weeks, I pray that you will remember that the main thing about Christian stewardship that distinguishes it from other forms of philanthropy are two great theological words “gratitude” and “generosity.” Gratitude is the very foundation of our relationship with God. We know that are able to love only because God has first loved us. In our heart of hearts, we know that the joy and peace we experience in the Christian life is not something we have earned or achieved on our own. It is a wonderful gift given by a loving, gracious, generous God.
This being the case, this unearned love changes us, giving us a new heart and a whole new outlook on life. This naturally creates gratitude in our hearts, which compels us to respond to God’s grace with generosity. So, the question this year, and every year, is how grateful are we for God’s great gift to us? Putting a number on this can be hard to do, but the Bible sets the goal as the tithe, or ten per cent of our income.
I want you to know that we are aware that some of you, due to current circumstances, may not be in a financial position to give as much as you have in the past. And that is alright; God asks us to give as we are able. On the other hand, some of you might feel very blessed right now and out of gratitude be led to give more. This I know and believe: Paul was right when he told his fellow Christians in Corinth, “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver… you will be blessed in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us.”
Thank you again for your generosity to our church, both past and future. May God continue to bless us and make us a blessing to others. “See” you online on Sunday!
Please know that Trinity's elders, deacons, and staff are praying for you, your loved ones, and your friends as we follow state guidelines to restrict the spread of Covid-19. If you should have a care concern or celebration you'd like to share, please email David or the church office.
Good news! Bobby Nelson's sister, Ann Wynn, has recovered from her bout with Covid-19. Betsy and Bobby speak with Ann daily, and are encouraged by her resilience and good spirits. Please pray for Ann's continued health and comfort as she grieves the loss of her husband.
We ask that you keep Lillie Pearce's daughter, Karen Loveland, who has been diagnosed with lymphoma, in your prayers. May God’s healing hand be upon Karen, giving her family strength and comfort as Karen continues her testing.
Please pray for Linda Breazeale's brother, Robert Lemacks, who was hospitalized recently due to issues with his heart. We ask that you pray for him, his family, and those who are providing care for him.
Please join us in prayer for Rachel Martin's family. Rachel, a Trinity member who belonged to Milner Memorial, passed away on October 6th. Rachel's two sons, Mike and Tim, live at the Fountains of Albemarle in Tarboro and her sister Ann Radford lives in Kenly.
We are sorry to share the sudden death of Kelly Hull, who was Amy Rhoades' manager at Wake Med. Please pray for Kelly’s family and friends as they deal with this sad loss.
As we continue to pay the church's unchanging monthly obligations, we remain sincerely grateful for your giving. Louise Taff, our Receiving Treasurer, is checking the mail frequently each week, making the deposits for the church. If you have questions about your giving, please email Louise.
We recognize that for many people this is an uncertain time, and know that you may not have the income you had before the pandemic. If you find yourself in a difficult position and would like to request financial assistance from the church, please write a confidential email to David.