Making a First Fruits Offering
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops.
- Proverbs 3:9
The concept of first fruits began in biblical times when people lived in an agrarian society. God called his
people to bring their first yield -- the first fruits -- from their harvest to him as an offering. The act showed the Israelites’ obediance and reverence for God. It also showed they trusted God to provide enough crops to feed their family.
Although we no longer live in an agrarian-based society, we still use the idea of first fruits when we talk about giving to our church. Making a first fruits offering opens us up to allow God to work in our life. When we approach God with open hands - rather than clenched fists - it makes it easier for him to give us more to work with.
Giving our first fruits reminds us that God is our ultimate priority. Being generous in this way shows that we are grateful for all God has given to us. (source: tithe.ly.com)
Our Journey Continues . . . moves from our inspirational/discernment phase, into fulfilling our commitments over the next three years. We encourage those who are able to make their first payment, or pay their entire commitment (as some have already done), to consider doing so before May 19, 2019 as your First Fruit offering. Making this First Fruit offering now will allow us to start on lighting improvements in the nave sooner, rather than later. While the three-year schedule for the campaign will conclude in April 2022, for those who can give early, your gift will be put to immediate use. Clustering your charitable gifts in a single tax year may also be beneficial for tax purposes.
We are sincerely grateful to the more than 90 households who have already made their commitment to the future of Grace Church through Our Journey Continues… As we celebrate 160 years of providing Jesus Christ’s mission through Grace Church, these actions will help build a new foundation of faith for future generations. The campaign is designed to provide a permanence to the care of our buildings and grounds. The majority of the money raised will be invested in Grace’s Legacy Fund, where it will provide income for generations to come:
- 70% of funds raised will go to Grace’s Legacy Buildings and Grounds Fund, where income generated will be used to help cover our annual building expenses year after year.
- 10% of funds raised will be used to purchase new lighting in the church nave, to brighten our worship space and reduce energy costs.
- 10% of funds raised will help pay down loan debt from new boilers and new roofs installed over the past few years.
- 10% will go to Grace’s Legacy Outreach Fund, as our tithe to God and our community for the blessings of this campaign.
The campaign began in Lent, with pledges collected on Palm Sunday. After Easter our leadership team will be writing thank you notes and making follow-up calls to those we haven’t heard from yet.
We will announce the results of the total pledged to Our Journey Continues… and first fruit funds already received, on Sunday, May 19. Whether you made a three-year pledge or would like to make a one-time donation, we encourage you to make your “First Fruit” offering by May 19.
Dozens of Grace members donated their time and talent to lead efforts of prayer, gratitude, and celebration for the parish. We are so grateful to everyone on our leadership team:
Capital Campaign Leadership Team
Rector: The Rev. Todd McDowell
Lesley Hoffarth & Tim Engelbrecht
Susanne Haring & Shari Bonham
Dianne Casey & Janis Greenbaum
Lead Gifts: Brent VanConia
Amy Shands & Becky Engelbrecht
Paula Russell & Karen Wallach
Barbara Manuel & Sara Losse
Youth & Children:
Joanie Van Rees & Janis Greenbaum
Gratitude & Ministry:
Carla Kurth & Phillip Brunswick
Lyn Ballard & Mike Heyer
Our thanks also goes to the many other members who helped our leadership team carry out their missions!
If you are interested in learning more about our capital campaign or making a pledge, please contact the church office or a member of our leadership team.