You have no doubt received, and will continue to receive, many pleas for year-end giving to a vast variety of charitable causes. This is not another one!
Instead, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to the women and men, singles and families who sacrificially gave to all Redeemer’s causes this year. The Rise Campaign deserves special mention, of course, but I also want to thank those who gave faithfully to the general offering, the Operating Budget (that pays the mortgage, rents the facilities, funds the salaries and keeps the lights on). Thanks for supporting the Easter Sacrificial Offering for Hope for New York (and His Toy Store), for giving the money entrusted to the Diaconate for their mercy work, and countless other gifts towards mission trips, RUF City Campus College Ministry, and other ministry projects.
Of course, all our praise should be primarily to God. He has given us every cent and possession we have, the “plenty” that will supply the needs of others (2 Corinthians 8:14). And he alone can make our fearful, selfish hearts generous. Without that help, we always feel poor. It takes an experience of God’s costly, self-donating love in Christ to unlock our hearts and purses and enable us to sing “Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold. ... Take my heart it is thine own, it shall be thy royal throne, it shall be thy royal throne.” His Spirit makes us feel that we have plenty for ourselves, and only then we will be generous to others. (1 Timothy 6:7-8; 18-19)
If we are going to realize the vision of the Rise Campaign for our city, we will need to deepen this “culture of plenty” and generosity in every congregation.
So all praise to God for his help this year in moving us toward that goal. And thank you for your gifts.