A Stewardship Recap
February 7, 2024 Creekwood United Methodist Church

Perceived Value - Deep Thoughts

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A Stewardship Recap

Chili Cookoff

What a great day on Sunday! Thank you to the 21 Chili Cook-Off participants and those who brought amazing desserts. It was a lot of fun and a great example of the generosity of Creekwood. As a recap, the winners were:

  • People’s Choice: Kelly White
  • Pastor’s Best Overall (Tie): Bridget Adell and BJ Posey
  • Spiciest: Mike and Tonda Oates
  • Most Unique: Bill Vining

And an award not mentioned, but definitely an honorable mention of “Best Presentation” should go to Berkeley Safstrom and her bunny drawings.

As an update on Stewardship numbers, here’s where we sit currently:

  • 131 pledge cards or recurring online gifts (144 in 2023)
  • $939,610.12 pledged ($825,384 in 2023)
  • pledge of $7,158.51 ($5,764.92 in 2023)

Way to go Creekwood! This is an incredible show of faith, generosity, and celebration! I know some weren’t able to be present on Sunday and have their cards to turn in, and it is never too late to pledge online (click here for instructions) or turn in a card in the offering plates or boxes.

And maybe you may have just asked, “what offering boxes?”

Upcoming Changes to 11am Worship

Kids Shaker Time

Maybe you’ve noticed since January 14 that the 11am Contemporary Worship has had a slightly different flow? Our worship planning team examined some suggestions brought forth by John Hames on how to better create a flow of worship that is the most engaging and inspiring, without sacrificing our core values, time honored traditions, and information we need to impart. Almost immediately, we re-worked the flow of worship to look more like it did pre-COVID to create a build up towards the message, allowing us to walk out to our cars on an inspirational high or a contemplative challenge.

We didn’t really announce those changes, but two more changes are going to happen starting this week in Contemporary Worship that require more of a heads up.

1) Kid’s “Shaker” Time

For longer than I’ve been at Creekwood, the kids have been invited to come join the band at the end of worship with shakers, tambourines, etc. It’s always incredibly fun and cute, and an amazing act of worship. But, sometimes it can feel disconnected if the preceding sermon was a little heavier of a topic (i.e., All Saints Day). Also, why wait until the end for one of the most inspiring parts of worship?

To create a better transition into Kids’ Time and teach kids that they are part of leading worship, we will invite kids to come shake with the band at the end of the 3rd worship song. Listen for John’s invitation and run on up! This will be about 12-14 minutes into worship. After they are done shaking, they will be invited to stay on stage for Kids’ Time with Pastor Keri Lynn or Pastor David.

For parents of Pre-K/Nursery kids, your children are always welcome at all times in worship, but you are also free to let them shake, attend kids’ time, and then take them back to the nursery for the remainder of the worship service.

2) No Passing of Offering Plates

Apparently this idea isn’t novel, as it’s been suggested for over 10 years at Creekwood and has been implemented in 100’s (if not 1000’s) of churches nationwide, but we will not take time to pass the offering plates in the 11 worship. Instead, there will be 4 offering boxes as we enter or exit worship that will be clearly marked for us to give our tithes and offerings to God. I have already been in conversation with Michael Mints and Claude Whitehead, our two lead ushers, about how our usher team will still play a vital and valuable role in worship, as they do now.

We will specifically honor and pray for our offering as part of our pastoral prayers, to ensure that we realize whom we are truly giving to, and will have 2 times during worship where we recognize our many ways of honoring God and supporting our church through our offerings.

What this will allow is more time to pour our hearts out to God in worship, ruminate and meditate upon the wisdom of God in scripture, and (perhaps very important to many) keep the length of worship to a consistent time-frame.

All of these changes are a little “trial and error” so we will evaluate the success of said changes, including how offering is impacted. As a note, only 1.5% of offering came in cash last year as the vast majority of our income comes through online or mail payments. I suspect, however, based on the feedback I’ve received from changes already made and proposed changes floated for feedback, that these will help continue to build momentum as we gather in community and worship passionately.

Also, these changes are for 11am only.

See you Sunday for our new worship series, “Why Does It Matter?” as we explore the importance of Christ, church, and how our faith makes a big impact in our lives and all those around us.


David Lessner

PS – Bring your appetite this Sunday as Troop 358 of the Boy Scouts will be on hand to cook us some delicious pancakes!