THANK YOU! for your continued generous support in these challenging times.
What a year 2020 has been! To call it unprecedented would certainly be an understatement! When it became apparent that this global pandemic was not ending any time soon, the Session determined that we won’t gather again for worship until all of us can gather for worship. But the church has not been closed, not at all!
We have continued to worship together through pre-recorded video services that you can access at any time. Although we miss being together, these services allow us to safely sing, pray and worship no matter where we are! We’ve found some new approaches to worship that we will keep doing even when we are back together again. Now that we have an online presence, we’ve welcomed people from all over the country, and some of those folks have contributed to our ministry with their financial gifts.
Our education programs continue as strong as ever, with an adult class gathering on Sunday morning via Zoom, and remote children’s classes and confirmation classes. Women’s Bible Study meets via Zoom on Wednesdays, and the remote format means that even people on the West Coast can join us (if they want to get up early enough!)
Throughout this time, we have increased our support of missions, particularly those with a local impact. Our Buddy Bag families have receive not only food, but cleaning supplies, summer activity baskets, and needed supplies for the shift to remote schooling. We’ve made donations to disaster assistance to help with derecho cleanup in Iowa and hurricane response in the South. We’ve supplied needed clothing to kids of the Moms Group, and given gift cards to teachers at Lincoln School, our partner school. We’ve given extra support to Stronghold Camp, with funding and a work day, and we are currently in second place in the Stronghold Challenge!
Obviously, not gathering physically means that our practices of giving have changed, too. If you have been sending a pledge through electronic funds transfer (EFT) or putting a check in the mail, you can still do that! This year the Session approved the addition of online giving for those who wish to use it, and our link to the online giving option appears in every week’s video playlist. Our online giving option gives people who might not otherwise give a way to quickly and easily support our ministry. We pay a small fee, but that fee is used by the Presbyterian Foundation to support missions.
The Biblical starting point for giving is the tithe—ten percent of all we earn. In our church we focus on proportional giving—encouraging you to give out of a sense of gratitude a generous portion of your income. Many of us are working toward increasing our annual giving with the goal of tithing. We encourage you to be as generous as you can, and to join us in this ministry. Below is a chart that helps you see where you are in proportional giving, and helps you set a goal to step up by a percentage or two. If you are already pledging, thank you! If you can increase your pledge, thank you! And if you are new to this and would like to begin this year with whatever you can, thank you! You can make your pledge online, too! Just use the form at www.firstpresbyteriansterling.org
As you prayerfully consider your pledge for 2021, know that your gifts will be deeply appreciated and used well for Christ’s mission. May God continue to bless you richly as you continue follow the son, sharing abundantly in every good work, and witnessing to God’s love in the church, the community, and the world, through your gifts, your presence, and your prayers.
The Stewardship Committee
My heart is overflowing with gratitude for God’s surpassing grace! This pledge is to support the mission and ministry of First Presbyterian Church, and I commit to give my time, talent and financial resources so that the name of Jesus may be glorified.
If you would like to make a one-time gift, click the donate button.
Or make your financial commitment by filling in the form below.