2023 Stewardship Campaign

at Duluth First United Methodist Church

Good People Doing Things for Other People

Good People Doing Things for Other People

Fall is here! The leaves are changing, the temperatures are dropping, and hot chocolate is on the stove. I love this time of year. I love the crisp morning air and the mild afternoons. I can feel God’s presence in the cool breezes, the bright sunshine, and the glorious colors on the trees.  It’s yet another reminder to me that God is at work in the world. Thank you, Lord, for letting me experience your awesome creation.

Speaking of trees, I recently saw a tiny excerpt of an interview with Penelope Wilton, the British actress that some of you might recognize as Mrs. Crawley from Downton Abbey as well as numerous other movies and TV shows. In the interview, she says, “A society grows great when old men plant trees, the shade of which they know they’ll never sit in.  Good people do things for other people. That’s it. The end.” When I stop and think about her words, I realize that she is really talking about the great commandment. In other words, love God and love your neighbor. That’s it. The end.

A few weeks ago, Pastor Tippens preached on 1 John 3:16-24 in which the scripture tells us to, “love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” Several things from his sermon stuck with me that week, and one item in particular seems to reinforce Penelope Wilton’s advice. Pastor Tippens said, “Love speaks beautifully, as in 1 Corinthians 13, but love also ‘gets things done’.” I think that’s what Penelope Wilton was saying. Loving God and loving your neighbor is more than just a good idea. As Christians, it’s our way of life. It’s the way we conduct ourselves on a daily basis. It encompasses everything we do as we go about our lives. Good people doing things for other people.

The various missions and ministries of Duluth First United Methodist Church are good examples of how ‘loving our neighbor’ plays out every day. Our church is in the business of spreading the Gospel and making disciples of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we do that with words, but many times we do that with our actions. Happy Sacks, Hugs for Soldiers, Prayer Quilts, Youth Group, Yarn Arts Ministry (YAM), and Community Outreach are but a few examples of how we – the Church – get things done by loving God and loving our neighbors. These missions and ministries are only possible because we give of ourselves. Sometimes we give our time, but other times we give our money.  And, let’s be honest, it takes both.

This is the time of year when we start to think about our giving plans for 2023.  It’s time to Grow One Step in our giving as we work towards the tithe, or giving 10% of our income to God. In the coming weeks, we’ll be hearing more about this in the Sunday services. Various members of our congregation and church staff will be talking about the importance of growing God’s kingdom by giving to the church. Loving our neighbors is part of the great commandment, and we can’t do that effectively without your help.  Please prayerfully consider growing one step in 2023. If you gave 3% of your income this year, try 4% next year. If you gave 8% in 2022, give 9% in 2023. Giving of ourselves for others is what we, as Christians, do. It’s who we are. We all carry the light of Christ inside us. I hope it shines brightly wherever you go. Good people do things for other people. Love God, and love your neighbor. That’s it. The end.

In His service,

Bryan Johnson

Duluth First UMC Stewardship Chair

If you are ready to make your Estimate of Giving to the 2023 Stewardship Campaign, you can do it online by clicking on 2023 ESTIMATE OF GIVING.

Click on GROW ONE STEP to download copies of the 2023 Grow One Step charts.