Thoughts on Stewardship

In the 1930’s my father, as a single man, joined a fraternal organization that he loved dearly. Along with his church, it became the center of his social life. But after marriage, children, and a demanding job came along, the limits of free time meant he must choose between his church and the fraternal group. Thank heavens he chose the church but thereafter he remained loyal and faithful to the fraternal organization. (More on this at the end of this article.)

Perhaps we at Covina UMC are in much of the same situation this year with the Coronavirus pandemic. We are forced to give up our familiar worship habits and greatly miss meeting face-to-face with our friends at church. Fortunately, our staff, and our leaders on the Board of Governance along with a few volunteers have kept things going but most of us could not be included. They are to be commended for adapting to the limitations imposed by the pandemic in bringing us such advancements as drive-in com- munion, internet worship, online giving, and remote (Zoom type) classes such as “Earn-Save-Give.” but it isn’t the same. We have a new pastor who is able and willing to get us moving and growing again but new missions and activities cannot be completely put in motion until things normalize.

On the positive side, we have remained faithful and generous in our pledging and donations as God tells us and wants us to be. I reviewed our giving income (pledges and donations) and they have dropped only slightly in the months since the pandemic struck toward the end of March. This is a real tribute to the members and friends of Covina UMC and absolutely necessary. Please continue to give what you can and, if possible, even increase giving in 2021 because we are experiencing a financial shortfall. Our average monthly income has not been keeping up with our average monthly expenses for quite a few months. We are thinking of ways to communicate our financial condition to you on a regular basis so you can be aware and help. This will begin soon. Meanwhile, we are planning ahead with the expectation that Covina UMC members and friends will continue to remain faithful in their giving. If you can pledge, that is a further help for us to plan ahead more accurately.

And now, back to my father’s story. He remained loyal and financially faithful to that fraternal organization for the rest of his life although never again attended on a regular basis. In 1985 he was honored with a 50 -year service pin and remained a member until his death in 2007, a total of 72 years of membership.

-Jim Bradley, CUMC Financial Team

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