Our stewardship theme this year is “God Gives.” God Gives. It’s a simple, yet powerful statement that undoubtedly has a different meaning to each of us. Two words. Boundless interpretation.
God gives us our health. God gives us food for our table and shelter over our heads. God gives us the sunrise and the sunset. These are just a few examples of the simple interpretation of this statement.
I have thought deeply this stewardship season about how God Gives to my family through Derry. I have the honor of serving as Derry’s Stewardship & Finance Committee Chair and my wife, Kristen, is a member of the Mission Committee. Our boys, James and Brooks, have grown up in this church and have been Pilgrims, members of the choir and participants in youth group. In fact, James will be traveling to Ireland next summer with other members of the youth group to study conflict and learn about reconciliation and peacemaking. What a tremendous experience this will be for him, and one that he would not have, if not for God’s giving through Derry.
God gives so much to our family through the opportunities afforded to us by our church. When the Mission committee began to consider how Derry might host a refugee family, none of us knew exactly what this effort might entail. Indeed, it has been an effort—a herculean effort–with so many individuals providing their time and energy to ensure a successful experience for the Haikal family from Syria. Kristen has enjoyed her time with Alaa; my kids have gotten to know the Haikal kids, spending time with them at HersheyPark and Adventure Sports. I can fully attest to the fact that while we have done our best to provide the Haikals with a loving home in Hershey, God has certainly given to us in the form of this beautiful family. We are better off as a family and as a church for this opportunity that God has given to us.
I encourage you to give some thought to how God gives through Derry; and by doing so, think through the importance of our gifts to Derry. As the stewardship campaign winds down for the year, the pledges that we make to Derry will determine the opportunities that Derry can provide us in the coming year, our 300th anniversary year as a church. It will be a significant year in the life of Derry Church, and we have the opportunity to help shape this milestone year through our individual gifts. To this end, please join us after church on Sunday, November 12 for a soup and salad lunch as we celebrate the many ways God Gives.
God gives in many wonderful ways, from the simple to the complex and everything in between. If you think about your own experience at Derry, maybe you have felt God’s imprint of giving through the wonderful acts of kindness and love that the church affords us. I know that we have, and this giving has meant so much to our family’s spiritual growth.