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Sharing inspirational stories of Brethren Stewards in action.
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March 27, 2014

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Plant generously

Calling out gifts


Greenville OH workcamp 2013
“God calls us to follow Jesus’
example and be fearless in our living,
our giving, and our service.”
Photo by Mike Lantzy

Giving magazine 2014

Adapted from “God’s First Responders” by Michelle Cobb.

Every day our attention is grabbed by news stories of public servants who respond to emergencies. They are known by their well-recognized garb: hats, boots, and coats that identify these persons as first responders in times of great need.

In the local church community, we also have the opportunity to be first responders—of a different kind.

God’s generosity was revealed when God gave the world Jesus Christ, who expressed the ultimate depth of God’s generosity. In turn, God calls us to follow Jesus’ example and be fearless in our living, our giving, and our service.

The local church community is a perfect place for cultivating an attitude and practice of generosity. It is the place where we are taught what it means to be stewards of all that we have, and how to offer the time, spiritual gifts, skills, and finances with which we have been entrusted.

When the soil of the heart is fully responsive to the message of God’s generosity, the result is abundant, fearless living (Mark 4:8). Fearless disciples who live their lives with this belief create fearless and generous congregations.

God also works through us to reveal God’s generosity to others. Paul reminds us that we “cannot begin to think or imagine” how this God in whom we trust will work through us and through the church to accomplish God’s will in the world (Eph. 3:20). So let us live, give, and serve fearlessly as God’s first responders. May we be easily recognized as carriers of God’s grace-filled generosity in a hurting world.

Michelle Cobb is a district superintendent for the United Methodist Church. This story was published in full in the most recent edition of Giving magazine, a timeless resource produced by the Ecumenical Stewardship Center and distributed by the Church of the Brethren. Order complimentary copies of past issues at , and watch your church mailbox for the 2014 edition, coming in April!

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National Youth Sunday 2014 bulletin insert
Find worship resources for
National Youth Sunday at .

Plant generously

“God who is of all, who is over all, and
through all, and in all; we thank you for
what you have given us. Please move in
our midst and remind us of what we
can do through this journey together.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”

National Youth Sunday is May 4.
This prayer written by Zander Willoughby
is from a full set of worship resources at .

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Messenger cover - March 2014

“To really do the work that Christ calls us to do, means calling out the gifts in each of us. You know, the priesthood of all. That’s my hope, that’s my dream, that’s my vision for what it is to serve.”

—Mary Jo Flory-Steury in “Women
in ministry: checking the climate"
in the most recent issue
Messenger magazine .

Donor Communications team 2014-eBrethren size

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Watch for our next issue on April 10, 2014.

Do you have a story about how you and your congregation practice stewardship? E-mail it to !

eBrethren: Stories of Brethren Stewards, is produced every other week by the Church of the Brethren donor communications team.

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eBrethren is published by Church of the Brethren Communications, 1451 Dundee Avenue, Elgin, Illinois 60120. Church of the Brethren is a non-profit religious and educational organization recognized by the Federal and State governments. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by law. © 2014 Church of the Brethren.
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