November 18th, 2018 @ 10:30 a.m. is Consecration Sunday at Oakwood United Methodist Church, Lubbock Texas. On that day, we will have a combined family worship service, instead of our usual two contemporary and traditional services.
Members and friends are invited and urged to attend the 10:30 service and also attend a Celebration Luncheon immediately following worship on that same day (a catered meal, not a potluck dinner).
Consecrate means to make holy or to dedicate to a higher purpose; solemnly dedicated to or set apart for a high purpose. The word consecration literally means “association with the sacred”. You need to consecrate a building to turn it into a church, but you can also consecrate a week in New York City to the pursuit of the perfect bagel.
The ‘-secr-‘ part of consecrate comes from the Latin ‘sacer’ and means “sacred”. Remember that something consecrated is dedicated to God and is thus sacred.
Congregations that approach financial stewardship from a biblical perspective do not view the money Christians give to their church merely as a way to pay its bills. Rather, such congregations see financial choices and contributions as a spiritual-growth-oriented process designed to enrich our biblical understanding of Christian stewardship. It’s a way to help people grow spiritually in their relationship with God by supporting their church’s mission and ministry with a percentage or portion of their incomes.
Our congregation’s finance committee has selected the New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Program as a way to teach the biblical and spiritual principles of generous giving in our stewardship education emphasis this year. We believe that you are concerned enough to attend on Consecration Sunday and make your financial commitment as an act of worship in the church sanctuary.
New Consecration Sunday is based on the biblical philosophy of the need of the giver to give for his or her own spiritual development, rather than on the need of the church to receive. Instead of treating people like members of a social club who should pay dues, we will treat people like followers of Jesus Christ who want to give unselfishly as an act of discipleship. New Consecration Sunday encourages people toward proportionate and systematic giving in response to the question, “What percentage of my income is God calling me to give?”
During morning worship on Consecration Sunday (November 18th, 2018), we are asking our attendees and members to make their financial commitments to our church’s missionary, benevolent, and educational ministries in this community and around the world.
Every attendee and member who completes an Estimate of Giving Card does so voluntarily by attending morning worship on Consecration Sunday. Also, we do urge people to attend who may feel strongly opposed to completing a card. The procedure is done in such a way that no one feels personal embarrassment if he or she chooses not to fill out a card.
We will not do home solicitation to ask people to complete cards. Rather, we will contact you personally to secure your commitment to attend morning worship on Consecration Sunday and the Celebration Luncheon immediately after worship. During morning worship, our guest leader will conduct a brief period of instruction and inspiration, climaxed by members making their commitments as a confidential act of worship.
We will encourage participation in Consecration Sunday events through the Consecration Sunday team and governing board members. Since we will make no follow-up visits to ask people to complete their cards, we will make every effort to inform, inspire, and commit everyone to attend the Consecration Sunday worship service.
Thanks in advance for your enthusiastic participation in Consecration Sunday events,
~ Mark Smith
~ Consecration Sunday Chairperson