We have Caryl Gilman organizing the Christmas Fair, Judy Munson and Deb Feagans putting this newsletter together each month, and Rolf Olsen seeing that roof leaks are repaired and that our furnaces are working properly. Those are just a few of the people and a few of the ways that many of us volunteer our time as stewards of our church.

The other way that we take care of our church and its ministries is through the financial commitment we make. Just as each one of us is called to volunteer our time and energy to maintain our church, so each one of us is called to support the church financially. This is not the job of just a few of us. It is the job of all of us.

This year, as your pastor, I ask that everyone who has a connection to our church (members, friends, summer folk) prayerfully consider what our church means to you. Would Raymond be any different for you if our church ceased to exist? Would the Town of Raymond be any different if our church “went out of business”?

I ask you to consider where you choose to put our church in your list of financial priorities. Many of us believe we are busy people. Many of us believe we are stretched economically. We all believe that we are pulled in directions beyond our control.

However, I believe that taking control of our finances and generously sharing more than we have previously will create not additional stress, but less. I believe that the more we give and the more we step outside our own little world, the more centered and satisfied we will feel.

At least, that is what Jesus preached time and time again: Do not let your finances rule you. Rather let your gratitude and your love of neighbor determine how you live your life. If you do, I believe that Jesus was right. Your life will be changed.

I would challenge each one of you to increase your financial commitment to our church in 2019. In fact, if you increase your commitment by 25% and after three months feel more stressed as a result and do not believe that your generosity has made a difference in your outlook or has not made you a better neighbor, let your Council know that, and you can have that additional increment returned to you. How’s that for a risk-free investment?

Your church needs the generous financial help of everyone in 2019. Your Council and me as your Pastor hope that you will respond positively.