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Stewardship: I'm IN

October 17, 2019

I’m IN! ... I’m IN-vited!
 
Calvary, the Stewardship season is upon us. “I’m IN!”  Are you?
 
That’s probably a hard question to answer if you don’t know what stewardship is or why it matters at Calvary. It’s hard for us to be “in” on anything until we understand what it is we’re getting IN-to (pun intended). If you’re new to stewardship at Calvary or simply want a refresher on what stewardship is and why it matters, then pause for a minute and read this.Otherwise, let’s just jump in!
 
On behalf of the Stewardship Committee, I’m excited to share with you our theme this fall:  
 
“I’m IN! “I’m IN-vited. I’m IN-spired. I’m IN-volved. I’m IN-vested.”
 
The image you see is one of a pile of hands. Each hand represents a different person with their own story and journey. By putting their hand in the pile they are saying, “I’m IN…I’m with you…all of you…we’re in this together.”
 
When I was in elementary school I played soccer. Before every game my coach would invite our team to pile our hands in together and say together “1-2-3…Let’s Go…Ladybugs!” Ladybugs was the name of the soccer team, lest you think we were wishing insects on our opponents (or anyone else for that matter). Everyoneon the team put their hands in the pile and said the cheer together - whether we were starting out on the field or sitting on the sidelines because we were injured. We were a team. When our coach invited us to put our hands in, we were all in - no matter whether we were the goalie who always had the winning save or were the kid who kicked the ball in the wrong direction. It didn’t matter. The only way we were not part of that hand pile and the opening cheer is if wechose not to participate. But that was on us, not our coach. The coach never left anyone out.
 
So it is with God. By virtue of our existence, God has IN-vited us show up in life and be a part of the kIN-dom of God, to be a part of experiencing and sharing God’s love with the world. That is actually Calvary’s mission, “to be a Christ-like community that experiences and shares God’s love.” Which leads to our vision, to be “Open to All. Closed to None.”Our vision of inclusivity echoes our theological understanding that God invites everyone to pull up a chair to the Table and be a part of the conversation. God invites everyone to receive grace, forgiveness, and mercy. God invites everyone to use their unique gifts to make a difference in the world. You. Me. Everyone.
 
It is because God IN-vites us to experience love and grace that we have this community in the first place. And because of God’s IN-vitation, we work really hard to IN-vite everyone to join us in the work of being community for one another and building God’s kIN-dom.
 
Imagine a virtual team huddle at Calvary. Envision the hands of our congregation members and friends as we pile them in one by one. We need your handin the pile. Without it, something is missing. The most important part of being “IN” with this community is being IN-vited in the first place and acceptingthat IN-vitation.
 
So consider this your official IN-vitation to the next few weeks of stewardship fun at Calvary. Join us in worship on Sunday (either at 10:30 a.m. or 6:30 p.m.) as we celebrate the IN-vitation we receive from God and the IN-vitation we have to engage more deeply with Calvary. Just for your presence on Sunday, you’ll get a FREE GIFT to help you spread the IN-vitation with your friends and neighbors.
 
Now that you’re IN-vited…are you IN?
 
I am. And my husband Damon is too. We are ALL INat Calvary, which is why we make a pledge each year to give generously and consistently throughout the year. We believe in this community and we know that when we give we are supporting a mission that includes and invites all. We also know that we’ve been blessed by God and that giving is the best way we know how to say THANK YOU with passion and conviction and in a tangible way that makes a difference. Every year we stretch ourselves to give more. And this year will be no different. We know that the more we give, the further the reach of God’s message. And so we stretch ourselves. We sacrifice and get creative about what we can give up to give out a bit more to Calvary. And most importantly, we celebrate and give thanks!
 
Putting our hands in with yours… “1-2-3…Let’s Go Calvary!”
 
- Pastor Anne (& Damon)

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