October is the time of year many United Methodist Churches offer more focused attention on the practice of Stewardship. Since 1847, loving and committed people like you at SJ First have labored for Christ and given generously in order to accomplish the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. And, since 1910, you have continued to strive to be a bold witness in the downtown area for peace, justice, outreach, and inclusion on the corner of Fifth and Santa Clara. I am thankful Bishop Carcaño appointed me to serve a congregation with such a long history.
Due to COVID-19, much has changed in the world since I was appointed to serve you and the San Jose community July 1, 2019. I could not have imagined church the way it is today and, if I’m being honest, I have been slower than others to adapt. Pastoral transitions can be difficult enough, never mind throwing in a life-threatening pandemic within the first year. I want to thank you for being patient with me as I have struggled to learn how to minister in new and different ways during these rather unprecedented times.
While much has changed in the world, particularly since March, one thing has not changed; namely, the mission of the Church. We commit to persevere, to carry on, to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, to feed the hungry, to forgive, to resist evil in all its forms, and to love our neighbors as ourselves with a resolve, a conviction, an unwavering trust in Christ’s promise that not even the Gates of Hades will prevail against us.
For 173 years, SJ First United Methodist Church has engaged in ministries that try to make a real difference in the lives of real people. Along with your prayers, your presence, your service, and your witness, your financial support grounded in the faithfulness of God is essential in order to continue making a difference in our community and world.
As good stewards, it’s important during this last quarter we remain faithful and give as we are able in order to meet our 2020 budget. I know God will lead each one of us to give generously in response to the many blessings in our lives like so many saints of SJ First have done since 1847.
Checks may be mailed to the church office and made out to “First United Methodist Church at San Jose” or “FUMCASJ” or “FUMCatSJ”.
God, my Creator,
you made me all that I am
and gave me all that I have.
Help me show my gratitude
by using these gifts
to serve others in your name.
Jesus, my Redeemer,
you taught me the way to eternal life
by your example of loving service to others.
Grant me the courage to respond
to your Call to Discipleship
by following in your footsteps.
Holy Spirit, my Sustainer
be with me as I choose each day
to put you first in my life.
Let me be a model of Christian Stewardship
so others will come
to know you through my actions.
I pray, dear Lord,
you open the minds and hearts
of all the men, women
and young people of our church,
that we may joyfully accept your
challenge to be good stewards.
Grace and Peace,