Senior Pastor Becca Messman wrote this letter for our 2024 Stewardship Campaign.
Some years ago, I was part of a conversation about the Presbyterian worship service. We went around the room and shared what part of the service was our favorite. “The music!” People smiled. “The postlude.” People chuckled. “The Scripture and the sermon.” People nodded reverently. “The passing of the peace!” People agreed. Then one man said, “The passing of the plate.” People tilted their heads in curiosity, as if to say, “Go on.” He continued, “Every week when that plate comes across my lap, I think about how much God has blessed me. All these images come to my mind … of my family and friends, all I care about, and even this body that gives me trouble sometimes … (The man was battling cancer.) Every time the plate passes, I am flooded with gratitude for the opportunities I have had and the opportunity to give.” I was choked up at those words and have never forgotten them.
The very nature of God is giving. From creation to Christ, the story is the same: Because God so loves this world, God gives. This year our Stewardship theme is The Path of Freedom. In our October worship services, we’re on a journey through the book of Exodus. There, we discover the shocking generosity of God. Manna for today. Always enough. There, we also confront our human susceptibility to idols. Those shiny, inflexible quick fixes still lure us. And there, we move together toward God’s promises. Jesus Christ opens before us a way of contagious freedom.
This year, join us on the Path of Freedom. Consider making a pledge to support the mission of this church. Here’s what we are up to:
- Some of the most beautiful ministries for children and youth in this region. Your gifts help those grow!
- Choirs that inspire us. Music is a gift from God through which we experience the divine and create community. Gifts from you make a difference.
- Mission that changes lives. Food, housing, comfort for the bereaved, visits to the sick, care for widows and orphans, advocacy that works in and through relationships. Your gifts are light, leaven and salt for this world.
- A place to gather. Our building is a tool for ministry. Your gifts illuminate spaces for Bible Study and prayer. Your gifts create places of sincere belonging.
- A staff and a school. Your gifts fund the time and talent it takes to support these ministries.
Here are some of our priorities:
- In 2024, we are excited to host the Fairfax/FACETS hypothermia shelter which offers life-saving warmth and food to those experiencing homelessness.
- Teenagers are moving beyond the walls of BPC to serve the community. As we bid farewell to Pastor Adam, we are seeking the best possible leader for our youth ministries going forward.
- We are planning another life-changing work trip to Kenya.
- Our IMPACT choir will be headed to Toronto for their choir tour this summer.
- We are offering special Spiritual Growth classes and planning for speakers to deepen our faith, help us understand our world, and become a more inclusive community.
Well, now I am preaching. I am truly excited about what God is doing in and through this congregation. Please consider making a pledge this year. A pledge is an “estimate of giving” for the next year. It is not a membership fee or charge for belonging. It is a way to grow in faith and support the work of the church in the world. While some congregations may receive funding from a larger governing body, foundation, or diocese, this congregation is completely funded by financial gifts from people like you.
Every penny counts.
Every offering is fuel for love.
Every gift connects us more closely to God, the giver.
Our goal is 200 pledges (24 more than last year) and $1.3 million to support the ministries of this church (a 3% increase from last year).
I know that as many of us give online or worship online these days, the passing of the plate might feel weird or absent. But this year, I hope it can be a weekly well of gratitude for you. I hope it can be a mirror reflecting how God has given us all we need. I hope it can be a lens to see this world through freedom in Christ.
Thank you for pledging!
Rev. Becca Messman