Nov 29, 2013

Again . . . The Battle for Values in 2014


Last Sunday, we made a beginning as we initiated supporting our 2014 Ministry Budget. When we came forward and dedicated our financial covenant with God at the altar of our church we declared who and whose we are. Of course, many of our people were traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday, but we expect to hear from these sundry folks soon. What we give the church represents our relationship with God and our desire for our church to minister in many ways to many people—some old; some young. I deeply appreciate believers who remember their vows as Christians.

George Soros, a Hungarian-American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist, made an incredible fortune by trading on the currency market, betting that he was right and the rest of the market would turn out to be wrong. Most of the time he was right, or right enough times to build an incredible fortune. The most famous incident in his trading life was in 1992, when he got international recognition by betting that the British pound was overvalued. The British government in reaction to that put a billion pounds into the market, but the market followed Soros’ hunch and the pound collapsed, and Soros got even richer.

It just so happened that a few days later he was to speak at Cambridge. His host introduced him this way: “Ladies and gentleman, this is the man who cost her majesty’s government a billion pounds. The only thing I can say in his defense is that he will doubtless spend the money much better than her majesty’s government would have.”

And indeed he did. Soros is a world-class philanthropist, investing especially in those countries that were formerly a part of the Soviet empire and are now struggling to rebuild their societies. He established a new international foundation for a civil society, and has entered the battle for values of this world. He challenges those who use moth-eaten capitalistic slogans such as “The common interest is served by the uninhibited pursuit of self-interest,” by saying that self-interest must be tempered with concern for other people, for the common good.

Soros said, “Unless self-interest is tempered by a concern for the common good, the capitalist society will break down as surely as the Communist society did.”

There are a number of reasons for being stewards. I would suggest that the most important reason today is to join the battle for values in this society. And to let the church be the community that says with its deeds that we believe life is to be found in giving, and not in getting [thanks to Mark Trotter, FUMC, San Diego, California for several of these noteworthy quotations].

Come—Worship
Stay—Learn
Go—Serve!

Nov 27, 2013

Is There a Stewardship of Irony?



November 24, 2013 - Sanctuary from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.

Dr. David N. Mosser's sermon "Is There a Stewardship of Irony?" from November 24, 2013.

Sermon transcript available for download here.


iTunes

Nov 22, 2013

What Do We Do . . . Now?


Here is a story from my old friend Buzz Stevens, former District Superintendent and retired Senior Minister at FUMC, Phoenix, AZ:
A duke and duchess owned a large country estate with many servants who maintained the premises in their absence. One day the duchess decided to bring the servant staff together to get an accounting of how well they had performed their duties. She called them into a room one-by-one and asked them how things were going. In the midst of a lengthy interview the duchess said to one of the older servants, “Let me see, you have been with us twenty years?”

“Yes ma’am.”
“Your job is to walk the dog?”
“Yes ma’am.”
“But the dog has been dead for eighteen years?”
“Is there anything else you would like me to do, ma’am?”

If this is where we are with our Lord and God, then we know which servant or slave we are most like, don’t we? Perhaps, it is time to re-evaluate where we are with regard to our talents. How do we deal with the talents God has entrusted to us? This is a question of those who are stewards—managers of the gifts entrusted to us by God.

Come—Worship
Stay—Learn
Go—Serve!

Nov 15, 2013

An Offertory Word

Some of the folks in our congregation have expressed a concern about the status of our nation’s economy and people’s commitment to the church. They ask, “Do you think people will cut back their giving at the church now that we live in times of economic uncertainty?”

So, I want to say two things about this. First, people who cut back giving to their church in times of economic uncertainty already cut back long ago—some in 1957, some in 1980, some in 1986, and some in 2008. People who need an excuse to cut back giving to the church have previously had plenty of ready excuses available.

Second, we have an exceptionally faithful congregation. Despite the absolute change in our neighborhood and the geographical shift of our church members' homes, we have nonetheless done amazing things in mission, outreach, and providing availability of our building to those who need a place to meet. Not only this, but in the midst of all the things that make people financially frightened and anxious, we have had an amazing response to our capital campaign. For these reasons, and because I know our people so well, I am confident that although over-exposure to CNN, Fox, Bloomberg, and CNBC can produce big-time anxiety, people of faith do what people of faith do—they remain steadfast to their core beliefs.

Thank you for support the work of Jesus Christ through the ministries of our church.

Come—Worship
Stay—Learn
Go—Serve!

Nov 12, 2013

Stewards of the Traditions



November 10, 2013 - Sanctuary from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.

Dr. David N. Mosser's sermon "Stewards of the Traditions" from November 10, 2013.

Sermon transcript available for download here.


iTunes

Nov 8, 2013

Stewardship 2014

I am proud of our church. As we enter into a time to underwrite our ministry budget for 2014 we have already given sacrificially to our church’s capital fund’s campaign: “We Are Here for Good.” It takes a lot of vision to plan for the future and pay for the current moment—all at the same time. Yet, I am confident that the question below is one that our FUMC of Arlington congregation has answered by its faithfulness. Read what a well-known academic writes about the “values war:”

Joan Konner, the dean of the Columbia School of Journalism, said there is a war going on in this country over values. On the one side there are those who say the highest value is private gain. On the other the highest value is social responsibility. On one side the highest value is personal ambition. On the other side the highest value is the commonwealth, the common good. On one side those who say life is measured quantitatively. That is to say, how much you have accumulated, like the rich, young ruler. On the other side are those who say life measured qualitatively, how much you can enrich life for yourself, for others, and for future generations.

It can be boiled down to this: Is life measured by what you get, or by what you give?

Come—Worship
Stay—Learn
Go—Serve!

Nov 6, 2013

Embracing Our Inheritance



November 3, 2013 - Sanctuary from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.

Dr. David N. Mosser's sermon "Embracing Our Inheritance" from November 3, 2013.

Sermon transcript available for download here.


iTunes

 
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