2023 Giving Goal

Your Gifts Matter

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Dear Westwood Church family:
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One of the great invitations of our Christian faith is to live generously. Choosing generosity gives us a way to show that we are living for more than ourselves; generosity brings joy and connection. Living generously helps form us in Christ-like love and compassion.
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This year, alongside an invitation to consider joining me in setting a financial Giving Goal to the church for 2023, I invite you to reflect on your own experience of generosity. Where did you learn about giving? When have you received generous gifts? When have you given generously to others?
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I’ve been reflecting on so many gifts–especially ones that have been given to me. Homemade meals when I was sick, a bicycle at Christmas, money to help in a tough time, affirmation that offered encouragement, scholarships that paid for school. Providing emotional, relational and tangible help, this kind of generosity has shaped me in love. It reminds me that I have received so much; I have so much to give.
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Financial giving is an important spiritual practice. Giving of our resources, at a level that is meaningful to our circumstances, changes our relationship to money; it helps us remember that, before and after it is ours, everything we have is God’s. For me, the choice to set a goal for my giving to the church each year is a way of acknowledging this.
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For many in our community, this discipline has long been a part of how you practice your faith–whether by turning in a Giving Goal card, arranging automatic online giving, or otherwise practicing regular giving. For others, this is a new and different way to approach charitable giving. I hope you will consider giving to the church this year, and setting a Giving Goal for 2023.
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As you consider how to use and share your resources faithfully, you are free to choose how to set your Giving Goal. Our Christian traditions include lots of examples of ways that people let generosity shape their lives including starting with a percentage of all that you earn (as in the ancient practice of tithing), and starting with the needs of the community (as in the early Christian community described in Acts).
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Your Giving Goal makes a difference for what we are able to do in ministry together. I am regularly reminded of the rich gifts our congregation has received from the generations before us–their investment in the property our church is located on, and its wise stewarding since then, give us an incredible foundation for our ministry. This also gives us the opportunity to use the gifts given by our community this year for ministry that goes further–that proclaims the good news of liberation and justice to our community and world.
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I invite you to consider whether this is a time when you are ready to make a financial commitment that deepens your practice of generosity in the coming year. You can use an old-school pledge card, returning it by mail or by bringing it to church, or you can submit a pledge through the form below. We encourage you to set a giving goal this month. From now until Thanksgiving, in the Loft and in the Sanctuary, our worship will focus on the theme of living generously. We look forward to honoring and celebrating all the ways we can live generously, including through giving to the church.
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Thank you for your part in our congregation, and for your willingness to consider a pledge of financial support for 2023.
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Grace and peace,
Rev. Molly Vetter
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