2020 Stewardship Letter #1

Fall 2020 

Dear FUMCCV Family & Friends, 

Greetings in the name of Christ! I pray this letter finds you and your loved one’s doing well during these difficult times. Let me first say how I miss seeing you each and every week on campus for worship and other activities and while I know we are united as the body of Christ, I confess missing our unity as the church. 

The words of the Apostle Paul, in his greeting to the Romans, have been on my mind. He says, “For I am longing to see you that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you – or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine” (Romans 1:11-12). Paul could be somewhat egotistic and that is reflected in the first half of the statement, his desire to be the encourager. In the second half of the statement he corrects himself, acknowledging that we are all equal encouragers of one another by faith. This is what I miss about being together in church – the opportunity to all equally encourage one another by faith. 

These unique times have provided a good opportunity for us to reflect on the nature of the church and the difference between the church and the Body of Christ. If we are the Body of Christ then we believe that we are connected and in fact there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God or the love of one another, not even a global pandemic. This is true because the Body of Christ is a divine institution that God invites us to participate in. The church, on the other hand, is a human institution and we have found that the church can be divided – by a pandemic, by national and denominational politics, by racial unrest, and more. I pray your faith is founded on the Body of Christ and supported by the church rather than the other way around. 

FUMCCV is of course a church, but let me assure you the leaders of this church are passionate about living according to God’s invitation for us to be the Body of Christ. An invitation that says everyone is welcome, everyone matters and has a contribution to make, we gather in church to be strengthened, we are sent into the world to live our faith, and though it may seem the world is against us there is actually nothing that can separate us from one another and the love of God. The church is a gathering place but the Body of Christ is the connecting place – let us stay connected. 

We are asking you, over the next month, to prayerfully consider your financial giving for 2021. Our collective level of giving will determine the kind of church we are and how close to the Body of Christ we can become. These are difficult and uncertain times to think about financial giving, which means the prayers must be all the more fervent. We are praying for you and we look forward to hearing your prayers and responses. 

 

Blessings, 

Rev. Dr. Brian T. Parcel