Let us walk together on this journey of Abundant Joy so the glory of God might shine brighter through the mission and ministries of Grace-Calvary!
Please watch your mail for a letter from the Stewardship Committee and consider your commitment to Grace-Calvary for 2018. Pledge cards will also be available at the back of the church. Plan to join us in celebration on November 5th and bring your pledge card to church.
“Put simply, life is a God-given opportunity
to become who we are, to affirm our own
true spiritual nature, claim our truth, appropriate
and integrate the reality of our being, but most of all,
to say ‘Yes’ to the One who calls us the Beloved.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen
We are pleased to share a heart-warming and gracious reflection from Jennifer and Bryant Tench. We appreciate their willingness to share their journey with all of us.
There’s a reason we use the word “practice” when describing acts that embody a particular virtue. Some of us may possess an innate gift for one or two of those distinct facets of Christian life, but for most of us consistently demonstrating things like kindness, patience, and humility takes work. And not “I’ll-work-on-that” work, but deliberate, focused, strategic work. Practice.
No reasonable golfer would expect to be good without taking time to hone individual components of the game like driving, chipping, and putting. No musician would expect to play well without taking the time to develop listening, tonality, and phrasing. So why do so many of us expect to be “good at being good” without actively practicing its finer points?
Jennifer and I have made our monthly contribution to the church a deliberate act of practicing faithful giving. And like any practice, sometimes it’s harder than others.
A few years ago, Brandy Aycock led us through a course of Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. In laying out our budget, we committed to giving to the church a fixed amount on a monthly basis, and we did well for several months, but eventually allowed ourselves to fall back into only sporadic giving.
We told ourselves that we were giving in other, non-financial ways: time, energy, and talent. And while that was true, we also had to ultimately accept that it did not stretch us in the productive way that giving financially can. That was a difficult truth to acknowledge.
First, we had to realize that giving a little consistently was better than having grand intentions and only seldom delivering on them. It took making a modest pledge to get us in the habit of regular giving. Perhaps it’s silly to say because it seems so obvious, but without that small first step we couldn’t have taken the next one. Since making that first pledge, we’ve increased our monthly pledge slightly each year. It’s still not anywhere near what it should be, but we seem to be moving in the right direction.
When Jennifer and I give, it helps us to look around at the faces of the people in the pews. Obviously, we have to keep the lights and heat on, but it feels different when I remind myself that we’re giving to each other, to maintain this faith community that we have enjoyed and grown in for well over a decade now. As a life-long resident of Northeast Georgia, I can testify to Grace-Calvary’s uniqueness. It’s a haven that offers love, friendship, and acceptance, a small church that allows space to ask big questions.
Jennifer and I are still learning how to give. We know it’s important, and not just because the church needs money. It’s important in helping us grow into the people we want to become.
And we won’t say we are great at giving yet, but we believe we’re getting better. Maybe most importantly, we’re not waiting to get good.
Bryant and Jennifer Tench