Dear Members,

Every October we put emphasis on our financial stewardship. It is October, and this is the letter you have come to anticipate. Let me answer two questions someone asks me every year.

First, why should I give to River Road Church? The most obvious reason is pragmatic—it takes the gifts of many people to finance the ministries and mission of our church. We have no government aid or corporate donations. Your gifts pay the way for us to do what we do.

But this obvious reason for giving is second in importance to the reality that your contributions represent your grateful response for God’s gifts to you. In a word, your stewardship. Giving is a spiritual practice Jesus talked about often. One-third of his teachings were about money. He spoke about money more than any other subject except the Kingdom of God. We give because Jesus gave and taught us to give.

The second question? Why should I make a pledge or estimate of my giving? Again, your estimate of giving is a pragmatic necessity for River Road Church. Pledges enable us to plan our ministries for 2013. Without them we do not know what we can undertake responsibly.

More importantly, to estimate your giving for next year asks you to take a risk, a step of faith, to anticipate what you will devote to God in the coming year. Not pledging sounds a lot like we are waiting to see what is left over after we do what we want, which also seems like we are putting God last instead of first.

Enclosed is a card on which you can estimate your giving, or make a pledge, to River Road Church for 2013. On Sunday, October 28 we will receive these as an act of dedication during worship. If you are unable to be in worship that Sunday, please give prayerful consideration to your financial stewardship and place the card in the mail using the enclosed envelope.

Thank you for your ongoing support for our ministries.

Michael J. Clingenpeel, Pastor