GIVING

There are many ways to participate in our community, one of which is through giving. We strive for transparency in our giving and you can learn more about our budget and financial updates.

Dear Friends,

     When it comes to flowers, perennials are amazing; they effortlessly return each year, sometimes strong enough to crowd out the weeds. OK, not effortlessly.  They take time and care, water, and nutrients to get started.  They need tending to keep flourishing.  Tending is more intense for vegetables, grains, fruit trees, and annuals.  Gardens require those who give of themselves to thrive.

     The Biblical model of stewardship begins with a garden.  God gives to us saying, “I now give you all the plants of the earth that yield seeds and all the trees whose fruit produces its seeds within it” (Genesis 1:29-30).   Genesis 2:15 adds that God put the humans in the garden to “farm it and take care of it” or “tend and keep it.”  Plus, we’re invited to be grateful: “Bring the first fruits of the soil to the house of your Lord” (Exodus 23:19).  Jesus’ followers were encouraged to do more and “bear fruit of the spirit” into the world (Galatians 2:22-23).  Scriptures call us to think, work, and give like gardeners—for the sake of the garden, and because it is a metaphor for how we grow spiritually.        

      Judy Garbo has shared about how the last couple years have deepened her appreciation and gratitude for many others within the church—using words like “in awe of” and “amazed by” to describe people at Riverside.  Truth is, being part of a purpose, that is blessed by our efforts and needs God’s amazing grace, has the power to fill us with gratitude.  We start to see God at work in more places and people every day.  We find ourselves longing to tend the garden by offering our best—so we can share the fruits of Christ with others. Love and grace, hope and healing, forgiveness and new life are desperately needed now.

     During release time one morning, I was in Leslie’s 6th grade class.  They’d spent their time making cards for residents of a care-facility.  When Leslie collected the cards and paused the class for a prayer that the cards would bless those who received them, I expected the kids to simply bow their heads.  They did not!  Without being asked, one boy walking toward the basket of cards. The other boys and the lone girl in the class followed.  They gathered round and laid hands on the basket of cards.  Fifth graders spiritual enough to gather round and place their hands on a basket of cards in prayer without even being asked.  That’s a sign of God amazing work through Riverside.  We are passing on the spirit of “sharing Christ’s love through faith, action, and compassion.”  There’s life in this garden called Riverside UMC and we get to be part of it.  Amen!

     Yes, the last couple years have been challenging.  But Riverside is doing God’s work.  We’ve sent a team of ten on a mission trip, given over $500 to the MN Conference Love Offering that included Red Bird Mission, donated $1708 to UMCOR to assist Ukrainian refugees, raised the funds to re-shingle the church so we can worship, host groups that bless the community, sponsor the Thanksgiving Dinner, and more. We’ve even planted gardens at church where people care for the plants and each other.  Amen!

     In God’s garden-of-life every good thing is a reason to be grateful.  Every blessing is an invitation to give our best to God and Christ’s work in the world.  How will you give your best in 2023 to share Christ’s love with all through faith, action, and compassion?  What can you give to God’s work at Riverside Church as it grows in love of God and neighbor?  Together we are invited to offer our best and “share fruits of the spirit” with a world in need (Galatians 2:22-23).  Thank you in advance for your generous gifts and pledges.      

In Christ’s Love, Pastor Roger & the Finance Committee           

Estimate of Giving 2023 My Commitment to Riverside’s Ministries
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have,  for such sacrifices are pleasing to God”   Hebrews 13:16
Thank you for your dedication and generosity! God’s work of love and compassion are supported by your donations.  Your gifts make a difference!We’re excited to see how God can bless us with how we offer caring and sharing in the realms of community, creation, cash, and change.  We trust that God will guide us to be wise when we look at our relationships with one another, with this natural world, with the finances God has entrusted to us, and with the opportunity to see God’s blessings in the midst of change.We know that in the year to come, God will grant Grace to us in all of life.  The ministry that God will do through us will make a difference in people’s lives.  Please complete the Estimate of Giving on the reverse side and return it in the offering plate or bring it/send it by mail to the church office in the envelope provided.  You may change your commitment – to increase or decrease your pledge amount – at any time.  Just fill out an updated commitment card if you so choose.               Stewardship Committee 2023   
Name (please print)______________________ ______________________________________ Mailing Address_________________________ ____________________________________ City / State / Zip_________________________ Email_______________________________ Phone (area code)  ______________________Yes! I/We will continue to support Riverside through our time, talents & gifts. Estimate of Giving for 2023: $________ / month or year (circle one)_____Previously Authorized Electronic Funds. Continue current withdrawal amount with no changes. ____  New or changes to existing  Electronic  Funds  Transfer (EFT). Please  complete an updated  Automatic Withdrawal (yellow) form and return to the office with giving form.  ____   VANCO On-Line Giving.   ____   I/We will use the offering plate              for giving____   I/We will give via Facebook link

WAYS TO GIVE

Give by text message.

1. Text any dollar amount to the following number: 883-936-1838.
2. You’ll be directed to fill out a form to complete your donation.

Please note, you will only need to fill out the form the first time you use text giving.

Send us a mail.

If you’d like to mail a check, cash or other form of giving you can send it to:
Riverside
United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 128
Park Rapids, MN 56470