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Living our Vows

Living our Vows 

“. . . an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.” (Phil. 4:18, NIV)

As members of Lovely Lane United Methodist Church, we support our church with our “Presence, Prayers, Gifts, Service, and Witness.”  A renewed attention to these historic vows can make a difference.

We start with “Presence.”  Presence means that we choose to be at church on Sunday morning and throughout the week as we need to be.  We may not always feel up to it, but we realize our presence inspires others.

Next, we speak about “Prayers.”  We need to keep praying for the church and its ministries.  We need to pray for those in our congregation.  We need to pray for those in our community and our world.  We pray expecting change will come.

Following prayer, we come to “Gifts.”  Gifts are the financial gifts or money we give to God and the church.  Sixteen of Jesus’s 38 recorded parables deal with our attitudes toward money.  In his sermon, “The Use of Money,” John Wesley says that we are to, “Gain all we can, save all we can, give all we can.”  Our possessions do not belong to us.  We are to give some of what we have away.

After a focus on gifts, we need a renewed emphasis on “Service.”  Service is sharing our talents with others.  The musician, Arthur Rubenstein, was asked why he practiced the piano so much.  He replied, “If I don’t practice one day,      I know it; if I don’t practice two days, the critics know it; and if I don’t practice three days, everybody knows it.”  A great talent must be practiced, used, and employed.

The final vow is “Witness.”  We speak the faith with our actions and words.  I still love the old line from St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary, use words.”  We are often most effective with our actions, but the words we speak matter a great deal too.

Throughout the month we will be looking at these historic vows during worship services.  This focus connects with our stewardship campaign.  Our specific Commitment Sunday is November 18.  We will begin collecting pledge cards on that day for your planned giving for 2019.  Please prayerfully reflect on your commitments this month . . . and the year to come!

A Thousand Blessings to each of You!  Scott