jamie-prince-stewardship Rosemary Hughes Stewardship Testimony

This year’s fall appeal begins a new era at Buncombe Street United Methodist Church. In August, under the leadership of our Stewardship Committee, we undertook the development of a “culture of comprehensive stewardship” in our church. This initiative will nurture a year-round understanding of the broader dimensions of one of the most important areas of our life as individual Christians and as a congregation.

All that we are and all that we have belongs to God. As stewards in God’s kingdom, we are called to use everything that God has entrusted to our care for the advancement of God’s kingdom. Looking forward to our discipleship in 2017, we invite you to consider your response to God, in prayerful gratitude for God’s generous love and grace in your life, not simply in terms of money, but rather as a commitment of time, talent, and treasure.

The 2017 Commitment Form provides separate sections in which to record your commitments in these three areas. Click this link for a helpful instruction sheet that can guide you in completing your form. The Proportional Giving Worksheet will assist you in calculating your commitment of treasure.

You may return your Commitment Form by mail to the church, in person at the church office, or in the offering plate on any Sunday morning through November 13. After that date, teams of volunteers will begin calling on those who have not yet returned a form. On November 13, Consecration Sunday, all of the forms received up to that point will be consecrated at the altar.

Please prayerfully consider ways in which you can deepen your discipleship commitments of time, talent, and treasure as a member of the Body of Christ in this place. We have been richly blessed. Let us respond to God’s grace by blessing others in his name.

Yours faithfully,
Robert J. Howell, Jr. – Senior Pastor
Michael Helms – Chair, Stewardship Committee

How Special Are You?

We all know people who think they are really special, terminally unique. The truth is that, in God’s eyes, each of us really is terminally unique. He clearly demonstrated that in our creation.

First, according to Scripture, “God created humankind in his image” (Gen 1:27). Each of us is a sort of God clone, bearing God’s “DNA” as surely as any child bears the DNA of a parent. Second, no two human beings are exactly alike. Since the beginning of humankind’s existence, there has never been another person exactly like you; there is no one alive today who is exactly like you; and, for the rest of humankind’s existence, there will never be another person exactly like you. Each of us is terminally unique by God’s design.

Characteristic of our uniqueness is that no two people possess exactly the same combination of spiritual gifts, and each person’s unique combination of spiritual gifts evolves and changes through the person’s lifetime. It is out of this vast, dynamic pool of spiritual gifts that God calls us to be the Church.

The Apostle Paul understood this. Writing to the early Church at Corinth, he compared the Body of Christ to the human body: “Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,’ that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were ears, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body.” (1 Cor 12:14-20). Some years later, he wrote to the early Christians in Rome: “For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us . . .” (Rom 12:4-6a). Each person’s gifts are important, and it takes everyone’s gifts to make up the body.

It’s been said that the truth is not in any one of us, it is between us; and it is in relating to each other that we share our little piece of the truth. This is how spiritual gifts work. Our talents do not belong to us, they belong to God. They are gifts of the Spirit that have been given to us in trust, so that we may be faithful stewards of God’s gifts, using them in combination with the spiritual gifts of others to honor God and advance His kingdom.

The 16th-century Spanish mystic St. Teresa of Ávila wrote: “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

What parts of the Body of Christ are you? How is God calling you to be present in your Buncombe Street family of faith with your unique combination of spiritual gifts?

May 2017: Spiritual Gifts

April 2017: A Theology of Money

March 2017: Tithes and Offerings

February 2017: Do You Have Time?

January 2017: Possession is Nine-Tenths of Our Flaw

December 2016: Whose Is It Anyway?

November 2016: Only One Percent

October 2016: The Dreaded S-Word