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A monthly newsletter to highlight ministries, news, and events at First Pres

November 2019
Gift World   Advent Workshop   Contemplative Advent Retreat  Nominating Committee   This Week At First Pres   Calendar

Dear Friends,

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
– Matthew 6:21

I come to the Overflowing with Thanksgiving 2020 Stewardship campaign with a heart full of gratitude for so many things that have changed in the last year. We have an updated sanctuary. We received a major gift to reduce our mortgage debt. We are beginning to live into a new mission statement. We are seeing signs of new life throughout the church. You have contributed faithfully and generously to make all this possible with your time, talents, and financial resources. 

We are turning a corner toward greater financial health! We would like to grow to use the General Fund—with funds repurposed from paying the mortgage—to primarily invest in our staff, rebuild ministries, and catch up on deferred maintenance. With these goals in mind, we are asking you to prayerfully consider the following for Stewardship Commitment Sunday on November 24:

  • If you give regularly, will you pledge and increase your giving?
  • If you aren’t currently giving regularly, will you consider beginning to pledge and giving on a regular basis?
  • If you pledge and give on a regular basis, will you continue your faithful support of our church?
  • If God has blessed you financially with the resources to give a special one-time gift over and above your pledge, will you consider doing so? 

This month’s On This Corner features long-time congregants Paul and Jane Davis who share their story about pledging and giving. You’ll read how they’ve approached giving through different seasons of their 40+ years at First Pres. 

We truly are Overflowing with Thanksgiving! Your generous giving will help us continue to rebuild First Pres in 2020.

In gratitude for being your pastor,

Steve Schibsted
Interim Senior Pastor

Paul and Jane Davis at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Giving Out of Blessing, Gratitude, and a Desire to Give Back
By Paul and Jane Davis

Paul: In October 1979 I started my first (and only) post-college job with Chevron. I had no savings, a 16-year-old car, an apartment (using borrowed money for the deposit) and a fiancée. I attended First Pres as an undergraduate but I don’t recall having spare money to put in the offering plate. My family was not wealthy, but they did support their church and they instilled in me an important perspective about money—we only needed enough! When Jane and I were married, Ron Thompson did a brilliant thing. He charged us the "member rate" for our wedding, even though we were not members. We were soon in a new members' class and had to grapple with what commitment to First Pres looked like. I recall that Jane was particularly bold in wanting to make a meaningful financial contribution. We were asked to make a pledge and our 2020 pledge will represent 40 years of pledging.
Jane: We are both from modestly middle class families. Our parents grew up in the Depression. Mine taught me a blend of frugality, savings, and generosity. They were grateful for enough. Growing up in the Depression, they were skilled at living with a tight budget. They planned ahead, saved for big expenses and helped me by establishing a savings account where all the money gifts I ever received were deposited and waited for college. My family was unusual in our local Catholic church because they donated regularly at a sacrificial level. My folks each volunteered at church, my father in helping with a capital campaign to build a new sanctuary. When we were married and joined First Pres nearly 40 years ago our goal was to give sacrificially like our parents and tithe. By God’s grace we never missed a paycheck and money always stretched far enough.

We invite you to pledge your prayers, time and talents, and financial gifts for 2020.

Why we Give? First—God has blessed us and we have a strong sense of gratitude and a desire to give back to God as generously as we can. Our giving has grown over the years. At first a tithe seemed out of reach, then perhaps a tithe after taxes and expenses, then a tithe on gross income. God has blessed us with more than enough and we have been able to increase our pledge every year. Second, we are excited about everything we do at First Pres. Over 40 years, we have both participated in and been blessed by virtually every ministry. College ministries, worship and choir, mission trips, our various fellowship groups through the years, all the ministries associated with raising three children including their experience as young adults, getting to know and supporting our Mission partners. As volunteers and as leaders, we have been blessed to serve in many ministry areas. Being blessed by Christ includes acknowledging that everything we have comes from God and we want to joyfully support his work here. 
We are old school and make a priority of writing our check for the first Sunday of the month. We also give our time at church and in our community. We are blessed to sing in choir and Jane supports young families by watching children Friday mornings. Our congregation has been rich in ministries where we can walk alongside each other and be blessed in serving.

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Copyright © 2019, First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, All rights reserved. 
This is a member and regular attender communication from First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley. 

Our mailing address is:
2407 Dana Street, Berkeley, CA  94704 U.S.A.

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First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley · 2407 Dana Street · Berkeley, California 94704 · USA

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