Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Practice of Extravagant Generosity

“Extravagant Generosity describes practices of sharing and giving that exceed all expectations and extend to unexpected measures. It describes lavish sharing, sacrifice, and giving in service to God and neighbor. Vibrant, fruitful, growing congregations thrive because of the extraordinary sharing, willing sacrifice, and joyous giving of their members out of love for God and neighbor. Such churches teach and practice giving that focuses on the abundance of God’s grace and that emphasizes the Christian’s need to give rather than on the church’s need for money. They view giving as a gift from God and are driven to be generous by a high sense of mission and a keen desire to please God by making a positive difference in the world.”


As we look at “extravagant generosity,” we know that Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church has had a long tradition of faithfulness in giving that has allowed us to live into our mission as a community church who cares about the people of the community and the world. That tradition continues to this day, as many of you continue to give faithfully and sacrificially.


There are three fundamental reasons which make a significant difference.


We are incredibly blessed by God. When I count my blessings – family, friends, opportunities, and experiences – my only response is one of gratitude. As a Christian, my response to God’s incredible blessings is to become a blessing to others. It is out of God’s extravagant generosity extended to us that you and I participate in extravagant generosity with our church, our communities, and our world.


We are invited to be in partnership with God. We have been invited, as individuals and as a church, to be in partnership with God in the work of shalom (peace, reconciliation, justice, and wholeness) for all creation. As Christians, our response to God’s invitation is to offer ourselves, our gifts, and our talents in mission and ministry through Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church.


We trust God. God is our great provider, who never fails to provide for our needs. God is our great sustainer, who sustains us through all of our trials. God is our great comforter, who comforts us in the midst of our fears and doubts. God is worthy of our trust, our love and our devotion.


Because we can trust God, we can respond to God’s generosity in our lives.Because of your response to God’s generosity, Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church has made and is making a significant difference in the greater Cincinnati area as well as other parts of the world. It is my prayer that our “extravagant generosity” will lead us to become a vital and thriving congregation in the days and years to come.


Thanks be to God! And thanks to all of you as members and friends of Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church. God’s extravagant generosity and your faithful response will make all the difference.


I am proud to be counted among your number.


--Bishop Robert Schanse, "Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations"


God Is Still In Control!


Miss Lladale Carey

Web Content Producer

UMCGiving.org

United Methodist Communications

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