Saved by God's mercy and called by the Holy Spirit,
we share the Good News of Christ by reaching out in love.
A word about the Stewardship Board from church member, Dave Kemp:
“Blessed are you, O God, maker of all things. Through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts: our- selves, our time, and our possessions. Use us, and what we have gathered, in feeding the world with your love, through the one who gave himself for us, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.”
This we pray as we give gifts in worship, as we live out Jesus’ command to Peter: “Do you love me? Feed my sheep.” We feed our Lord's sheep in Mission to each other and to the world at St. Peter. The Stewardship Board helps us by asking what talents we are able to share, what time we are able to commit, what funds we are able to contribute for this mission.
I deeply respect and thank the people of St. Peter for their commitment to mission. I also appreciate the Stewardship Board for what they do to help us. Bills must be paid to maintain our church building/grounds/parking area, for heat, electricity, water. We must find ways to salary worship servants in a way that is fair, not only because we love these staff, but because we want to retain their service.
Each board asks the Stewardship Board for budgetary funds for their ministry. We are a tithing congregation which means that at least 10% (as much as 15% some years!) of our giving is passed on outside our immediate congregation for good causes. We are a blessing to others, and for this, we give thanks for this.
It is important for our congregation to understand that our pledges for regular weekly giving make possible what is described above. The pledges and weekly giving are referred to as operating funds. They constitute what we need on a continuing basis to go on. Stewardship must deal with the reality that only 43% of our members make pledges. This means tracking giving, comparing to previous giving, and estimating what real gifts we are likely to receive. It would greatly help if we knew with more certainty where we stood in this regard!
Special gifts and benevolences are received and considered by Stewardship. Those who gift St. Peter may specify the way they want their gift used. Some gifts are specified as gifts to our Foundation, which has rules for how these funds may be used. One gift provides scholarship to Lutheran colleges for our students. Other gifts specify that the church may use the funds as they feel best.
Since I have been in the congregation, a committee was formed to make recommendations for disbursal of each gift. In recent years the committees have recommended gifting inside and outside our congregation in equal portions. Those recommendations are then voted upon and approved by the congregation before any money is distributed.
We give thanks for the Stewardship Board for their help in making it possible for our congregation to do more than we could as individuals in our Mission to the world inside and outside our church walls!