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8002 U. S. Highway 301 South, Riverview, FL  33578  813-677-5995
"Jesus Has A Word for You"
Pastor Louis Telcy's Sermon of 09/22/2019
Our 2020 Stewardship Letter
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; there I will wait for him.” (Lamentations 3:21-24 NIV)

Throughout the month of October, members of Riverview First United Methodist Church shared their hearts for ministry. They reminded us that when we took our vows to join the church, we promised to faithfully participate in its ministries through our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness. As we consider the financial future of our beloved church, each of us would do well to consider our stewardship obligations.

We know that not everyone will be able to give in response to what they have received. Difficult financial times may present a challenge to some families. But we do ask everyone to give what they can. The worst situation is not giving anything at all.

A recent newspaper article spoke about charitable giving in difficult financial situations. “Americans are cheerful givers,” it said. “They donate more money per person than anywhere else in the world. Most households keep on giving even during rough stretches-though some give less, and some stop giving all together. However, when the heart wants to give, nothing can stop it.”

We ask you to print and complete the linked Faith Promise Card and to return it to the offering plate or to the church office. The Faith Promise Card consists of two parts: a place for your financial contribution, and a place for you to indicate how you intend to pledge your service in the coming year.

We have identified three financial areas of need for the church:

  • The General Operating Fund covers the day-to-day operating budget of the church. Our church must be completely funded in order to maintain our existing staff and ministry levels, to meet our connectional obligations, and to keep the lights on.

  • The Building Fund is designed to fund the emergency maintenance required to keep our aging campus buildings and grounds in good repair.

  • The Legacy Fund is our savings account that we plan to use to jump start a capital campaign that will replace old cooling systems and roofs, add a playground, modernize our youth building, replace signage, and generally make our campus more appealing to younger families.

Prayerfully consider your support for RUMC. Giving begins with sharing what we have. If you have faith in the work of our church within the community, you may even have to sacrifice something you desire in order to keep our beloved Church going and growing in ministry. When you complete the attached Faith Promise Card it will empower this church--your church--to care to share!

You may return the card via email to rvrviewumc@tampabay.rr.com, bring it to worship on Sunday and place it in the offering plate, or drop it off at the church office during the week. Your response will help us make plans for the coming year and beyond.

My brothers and sisters at Riverview First UMC, we need to embrace the acceptance and mercy that God shows us through the resurrection of Jesus Christ with an “attitude of gratitude.” God’s favor is not something that we deserve; we just receive it via the grace of our Lord Jesus. With this same attitude of gratitude, I am asking you to join us in this Stewardship Campaign—believing in God’s abundance and in our ability, through God’s grace, to provide the resources that will allow our church to do great things together!

Think of this Stewardship Campaign as an opportunity for each of us to give a gift that can make a difference. It is an invitation to discover the joy of giving in response to all that we have received. It will require a choice, and it may even require a sacrifice. But I want to challenge you to listen to your heart and consider this giving discipline for the next year; see if you don’t see a change-in yourself, in your walk with Christ, and in the community around you. As you joyfully give, do so in the expectation that our church can continue being an important and faithful resource for Christ in Riverview.

Rev. Louis Julner Telcy
Pastor, Riverview First UMC

Today, I sat anxiously awaiting to see the doctor and the first question he asked me was “What are you grateful for today, Candace”? I paused, and wondered why did he ask me about gratitude? Why didn’t he ask how I felt, what was hurting or what was bothering me today? After the appointment, I reflected on why gratitude matters.

Psychology Today reports, “It is possible to feel grateful toward loved ones, colleagues, animals, mother nature, God and life in general. The emotion generates a climate of positivity that both reaches inward and extends outward.” Psychologists find that, over time, feeling grateful boosts happiness and fosters both physical and psychological health. Studies show that practicing gratitude curbs the use of words expressing negative emotions and shifts inner attention away from such negative emotions.

Shilpa Garg recently wrote in a blog sharing seven reasons we should express gratitude. I’ve highlighted three below:

Reason #1 : Gratitude Improves Relationships.  Feeling grateful helps us to identify people who are responsive to our needs, and helps to bring us closer to them, thereby improving our relationship with them.

Reason #2 : Gratitude Improves Performance and Productivity.  When we hear words of gratitude, we are energized and motivated and that reflects in our work and life in general.

Reason #3 : Gratitude Uplifts the Soul and Spirit.  Gratitude is good for mental health. It boosts happiness and improves overall sense of well-being and quality of life.

As Thanksgiving approaches, I invite you to reflect on why gratitude matters and to whom will you express gratitude. Psalms 9:1 says, “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” As my doctor’s appointment ended, I expressed gratitude to God for my Mom, family, friends, and the people and ministry in which I serve in the Gulf Central District.

Happy Thanksgiving
Rev. Candace Lewis, District Superintendent
Gulf Central District