I’m Grant Varian, chair of the Stewardship Committee. The very fact that I’m standing here, today, means that the 2016 Stewardship Campaign is coming to a close. Our committee is Beth Marsh, Linda Landis and Rex Zent, and you won’t find a harder working, step-up-to-the-plate, get the job done group of people. I’m very fortunate and grateful to be on the same team. Throughout the year, we have been attempting to demonstrate to you that Dublin Presbyterian Church changes lives. Since the first of the year, testimonials have been presented to this end during worship. During October, leaders in our church of the program pillars of worship, community, music, Christian education and mission have described from the pulpit and in our electronic communication how Dublin Presbyterian Church changes lives. If you were not present to hear these testimonials and have not yet read them online, you will find links to them on the church website, dublinpresbyterian.org, or in the mid-week newsletter. You should take some time to check them out. There are inspiring and thought provoking words there.
Twenty sixteen has been a positive year for our church. Enthusiasm is high. New membership is up. Our mission effort is expanding. Our music program is facilitating a greater reach into our community. Financial support has increased, allowing the budget to be balanced. In response to an alert from one of our members, our Finance Committee has negotiated re-financing that has reduced our debt service and at the same time enabled us to replace the surface of our parking lot.
Each of these positives strengthens our church, and a stronger Dublin Presbyterian Church is able to do more to change lives. We want to expand our mission effort. We want to increase our Christian education programming. We want to enhance our music program. We want to expand our community presence. We want to ever improve our physical house of worship.
We all know the triad of stewardship; time, talent and treasure. The Stewardship Committee primarily focuses on the treasure part, although I’ll expand a bit in a minute. Obviously, everything that happens in this church requires all three, and financial support from our members is essential. It is largely because of increased financial commitment from you that the successes that I described have been possible. And it will be because of even more commitment of time, talent and treasure that we will be able to do more to change lives.
Dublin Presbyterian is a gathering of terrific people doing terrific things; things that impact people in our midst and beyond. Dublin Presbyterian is terrific place for you to invest to make a difference. To those of you who are financially supporting our church; THANK YOU! Please, consider for the coming year an increase of your financial commitment. Even a small increase, combined with others, will make a big difference. Those of you who have not chosen or have not been able to support Dublin Presbyterian financially, please, consider a small weekly commitment. Twenty or twenty five dollars, weekly, the cost of a meal for two at Bob Evans or Max and Erma’s, would make a big difference.
Each family will receive a letter and a pledge card from the Stewardship Committee. Your completed pledge card can be mailed to the church if you wish or you may present it during worship, next Sunday, which is our Stewardship Sunday. If for some reason you have not received your pledge card by next Sunday, we will have extras here. Following worship on Stewardship Sunday will be the Thanks-For-Giving Potluck lunch celebrating our collective commitment to our church and its work. Information about this lunch is on the website or you can speak with any of us on the committee
Beyond next Sunday, you can expect continued communication from the Stewardship Committee. There will be the wrap-up of the 2016 pledges. We will develop a “Wish List”, which will give members an opportunity to present to the church a needed improvement through targeted extra giving. We will continue to plan for “Listening Sessions”, which will give the committee opportunities to learn from you in small groups how the church can better meet your personal needs and what motivates you to give. One of our dreams for Dublin Presbyterian, which we hope to begin to study in the coming year, is the development of an endowment fund, which could provide a perpetual source of funding for future generations in our church. The committee will continue to recruit and feature personal testimonies that illustrate how Christ’s church changes lives. If you have a story to share about how the church has impacted your life or the life of another, please, contact one of our committee members. If you would like to join the Stewardship Committee and participate in these discussions, you would be welcome. Just let Linda or Beth or Rex or me know. If you would like to participate in another committee, just say the word. There is Worship and Music, Christian Education, Mission, Membership, Personnel, Nominating, Finance, Communication and Property. Perhaps, you have a special talent or expertise that will give one of these committees a boost. If you are interested in church leadership as an elder (as an elder, you would probably chair or co-chair a committee) or as a deacon (in my opinion, these are the worker bees of our church), just call or text Cheryl Varian, and I’ll wager you’ll get a call from the Nominating Committee with the next election cycle.
These are exciting times for our church; exciting times that reflect an exciting fellowship of excited, gifted and generous people. Thank you.
Grant Varian, Ruling Elder
Chair, Stewardship Committee
November 6, 2016