At this time of year, we remember the story of the gifts that the magi brought to the Christ Child in the manger in Bethlehem. While we all know that they traveled a very long way and brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, we often don’t realize that they had to take good care of those gifts as they traveled. These days, we know the value of gold but are less familiar with frankincense and myrrh. Frankincense and myrrh are saps drawn from different trees. Frankincense was often burned as incense, while myrrh was used in medicine and perfume. In Biblical times, these saps were worth just as much as gold. So, in addition to making sure their frankincense and myrrh were preserved properly in their containers, they also had to guard against theft throughout the long journey.
In much the same way, we as a congregation are called on to be good stewards of our Oldtown gifts: taking care of and making good use of our buildings and belongings and caring for the people in our congregation, our community, and our world. The stewardship team strives to keep everyone aware of our finances and the many different ways to be active in the life of the church. As a Congregational church, we run our affairs independently of any central governing body, which means that nothing happens unless we make it happen. The church’s operating expenses are paid for entirely through generous offerings and our various fundraising efforts. We do our best to communicate the church’s finances in a way that is easy to understand while providing enough information to understand the complete picture.
Throughout the coming year, we will be collaborating with the deacons to bring more awareness to our finances and how we can all work together to promote the growth of God’s kingdom. If you’d like to get more involved in the life of the church, have new fundraising ideas or ways of caring for our gifts at Oldtown, or have questions about our church finances, reach out to the stewardship team or the deacons, and we’ll get you the answers and connections you’re looking for.
We thank you so much for sharing the gifts of your time, talent, and treasure with us this past year, and we look forward to another great year at Oldtown. May the gifts of God’s grace and peace be yours, now and forever.
~ Jim Fennell
~ on behalf of the Stewardship Team