by: Craig LaFollette
I agreed to join the Generosity Committee, because I believe it is an extremely important part of the church. We certainly need our members to support St. Luke’s not only to keep the water and electricity on, but so we can continue to strengthen our ministries and impact the community and world for Christ.
For me, generosity, giving and serving, is even more important on a personal level. Don’t get me wrong, though. Paying the bills is very important. However, getting personally involved, experiencing the looks of appreciation and gratitude from the needy and seeing the impact of your gifts on real lives leads to a genuine JOY and rich experience not felt in just showing up on Sunday. Sharing our faith can set us on the path to do God’s will and experience the incomparable JOY he wants us to have.
I was blessed to have a loving mother who worked six days a week and taught Sunday school. She taught my sister and me to pray, talked about Jesus and, yes, made sure we had a quarter to put in the offering plate. That wasn’t a lot, but for a divorced mother of two in the 1950’s, living with grandparents, there were always needs. But, Mom gave us those quarters and taught us that there were people with much greater needs than our own. Impression was set.
During Bible school, we would collect food and take baskets to the itinerant workers’ camp on the east side of town. I can still remember the smiling faces and appreciative looks from children and adults who didn’t have nice houses, wore ragged clothing and were hungry. That was the first time I recognized there was a part of the world that really needed God’s help.
During high school summers, I worked at a camp for children and young adults with polio, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, cerebral palsy and other developmentally delayed conditions. Talk about an awakening to the needs of the world, wow, I hadn’t seen anything like this. Once again, God had put me in a place to experience his love for creation. These campers created so much JOY from their broken bodies for those of us who had the honor and pleasure of being there and helping them.
I wish I could say my life has always been full of Generosity. College life away from Christ and a busy business career not close enough to Christ got in the way. I was too caught up in me or too busy to feel the real JOY and LOVE that Christ Jesus had previously allowed me to experience.
But, as promised, God led me back to a closer relationship with Him and opportunities to, once again, experience His LOVE and JOY, through Generosity.
As we could, Chris and I committed and pledged more meaningful gifts. We served and serve on non-profit boards, became much more involved in the life of St. Luke’s and opened our hands to serve. Whether it be making sandwiches for Kid’s Meals, visiting patients in the medical center or participating on St. Luke’s committees, the JOY of giving and serving others leads to a richness of life that only Christ Jesus can provide.
So, make a pledge. Get involved or more involved and enJOY your walk with Jesus.
Today is Commitment Sunday for The Rich in Heart Campaign. Blank commitment cards are available in the pews if you forgot to bring yours today. You may also pledge online at StLukesMethodist.org/give. Thank you for your generosity.