Why I support Belmont UMC with my gifts and service
by Jennifer Bagwell
I am excited to be part of a church that is making a difference in our world! Right now, Belmont UMC is asking each of us to support our 2020 Ministry Fund. If each of us who find a spiritual home at Belmont opens our hearts, lends our hands, offers our voices, and turns in our estimate of giving card the results will be visible and amazing.
When I think of Belmont UMC’s impact in my life, I have to think back to when James and I first arrived at Belmont as recently married young adults. We got swept up in choir right away, and then found our way into what was (at the time) the young adult Sunday School class. Bill and Jane Gray faithfully arrived each Sunday to lead us in discussion and nurture our community as it grew. We shared meals, celebrated holidays, promotions, new babies and the changes that happen in the busy lives of young people as they get their start in life. Even 25 years later, as recently as last month, we visited with some of those friends and were talking about the impact of this group and this church.
There have been so many times in my history with Belmont that I have found myself inspired by someone who went before me and showed me what could be done, and that possibly even “I” might be the one who could do it. From people who taught Sunday School for years, to leading a children’s choir, participating in a service project or even the work and paper work of being on a committee, I have seen all these things first hand and been inspired to follow in someone’s footsteps and make sure it continues for the next generation.
Today, James and I along with Connie Purdue have the privilege to shepherd the new young adult class on Sundays as they seek the same things that we were seeking all those years ago - connection, community, a sense of belonging and a place to grow in faith. We find ourselves thinking critically about helping them along as we were helped. We meet with about 30 young people most Sundays between the morning and evening gathering times. Our giving ensures that they will be the next generation to stand up here, to help lead and shape Belmont as we grow into our future - and we are blessed to work with them.
I hope you will complete the estimate of giving card you received in the mail, complete a card from your pew, or pledge on-line by signing in at onrealm.org, clicking on the “Giving” link, and then clicking the “+Pledge” button.. We have set an ambitious goal of 365 pledges for the 2020 campaign. This is a critical year for Belmont UMC and we need each of you who call Belmont home to lend your voice to our campaign! We want to encourage our youth to pledge in addition to your family’s pledge. Every pledge, whether large or small, matters. As a sign of your commitment, we encourage you to stop by the foyer after making your pledge and add your name to the colored papers and post them to the pledge board. Thank you for being a part of making a difference in our world!
Why we support Belmont UMC with our gifts and service
by Jon-David and Ashlee Headrick
Right now, Belmont UMC is asking each of us to support our 2020 Ministry Fund. If each of us who finds a spiritual home at Belmont opens our hearts, lends our hands, offers our voices, and turns in our estimate of giving card, the results will be visible and amazing. Ministries that change lives and have changed our lives are why we support Belmont financially.
If you'll indulge me for a moment, I'd like to tell you what initially drew us to Belmont and one of the reasons we pledge every year. I grew up in a Christian tradition that is very different from what we enjoy at Belmont. About 20 years ago, a minister of the church that my parents brought us up in came to see my brother at his home. He sat down in my brother's living room, accepted a cup of coffee, and told Phillip that he was being excommunicated from full communion with the church because of who he chose to love. This church was all that my brother had ever known. His spiritual and religious identity was intimately tied to the teachings of this tradition. As you might imagine, it shattered his world, his trust, his sense of identity, and it shattered his faith itself. As a protective older brother, his experience had a profound impact on my life and was the beginning of my leaving the church as well.
And so, many years later, when Ashlee and I were looking for a church home, we sought a church that lifts people up, not tears them down. We pledge to Belmont because we want to be a part of the welcome, not the rejection. We pledge because our church offers safe haven from a stormy world. And although we freely give this welcome from our hearts, we realize that the building and the ministries that support this welcome have a cost. We pledge because we, in our own small way, can help to support this. We pledge for my brother. And we pledge for your brother or your sister who might walk through those doors seeking safe haven and the warm welcome that we all enjoy.
Why I support Belmont UMC with my gifts and service
by Lori Pearce
I am excited to be part of a church that is making a difference in our world! Right now, Belmont is asking each of us to support our 2020 Ministry Fund. If each of us who find a spiritual home at Belmont opens our hearts, lends our hands, offers our voices, and turns in our estimate of giving card the results will be visible and amazing. Ministries that change lives and have changed my life are why I support Belmont financially.
I have been involved in Belmont Youth Ministry in one way or another over the last 30 years. From coaching girls’ basketball to being a partner in ministry on Sunday nights and from leading mission experiences to chaperoning choir tours, I have been impacted by each of their stories. Through their eyes I have seen what is important to them - to be known, to be loved and supported and to learn what it means to be faithful to a forgiving God. I have laughed and cried with them. We have been overwhelmed by the radical hospitality in a British Methodist Episcopal Church in Toronto or in homes in Central Appalachia. We are so pleased that 12 youth from the Golden Triangle have joined the Open Door Singers to be a part of their rich history that enriches our worship services. In June, nine of those youth were able to come on the annual choir tour traveling to Charleston, SC and Wilmington, NC for our tour and mission project. Our growing diversity is a great gift and discovering our similarities an even greater one. The youth ministry welcomes anyone to share their talents and love.
Darren is waiting for your call. You won’t regret it.
By giving financially to Belmont, you enable ministries to not only influence our youth, but empower them to make a difference in their school and local community and communities around the world.
I hope you will complete the Estimate of Giving card you received in the mail, or complete a card from your pew. After you have filled in your giving card, return it to the church by our celebration on November 24th. You may place your card in the offering plate on any Sunday, mail it to the church, or make your pledge online at onrealm.org. Thank you for helping Belmont UMC make a difference in the world.”
The Bible begins with a portrait of God creating, “When the Creator began creating...” Our Creator has never stopped creating, “We are a new creation...Behold, God is making all things new!” (2 Corinthians 5) What might God create through our hearts, hands, and voices? Our stewardship theme turns to the thanksgiving hymn, “Now thank we all our God, with heart, and hands and voices . . .” It resonates with the great commandment: “Love God with all your heart and soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself.” Your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness will help us create a community of hope, justice, welcome, and love. Come, let us open our hearts, lend our hands, and raise our voices together!
Here are some of the new things God is creating through us at Belmont UMC: Two new discipleship groups have welcomed fifty-eight young adults and college students. Eighty-one active teens find a spiritual home here (sixty-one of these youth are also Open Door singers!). Our youth are leading us in growing deeper cross-cultural connections, and three of our Karen-speaking young adults are exploring God’s call to ordained ministry. We anticipate Pastor Kate’s focus on Children’s Ministry and Discipleship. How amazing that sixty children currently sing in one of our four children’s choirs!
Belmont UMC is helping to lead an inclusive Methodist movement, with five delegates going to Jurisdictional or General Conference, and we are hosting the 2020 national Reconciling Ministries Network gathering.
We lend our hands with Room in the Inn, Habitat for Humanity, Open Table Nashville, work against the death penalty, Encore Ministries (senior adults), Congregational Care, Welcoming Ministry, Spiritual Formation, hospital and homebound visitation, funeral services, United Methodist Women, Belmont-Edgehill Partnership, youth choir trips, youth mission trips, Alcoholics Anonymous, NOAH, Luke 14:12, ESL classes, and so much more!
Please complete your estimate of giving card or pledge online through Realm. We might talk about the Christian tradition of tithing or giving 10% of your income to God as a benchmark; however, loving God and neighbor with our all transcends a math formula. We ask you to make an intentional examination of your giving to God and neighbor. Look at last year’s tax return, your bank statements, and your budget, and put a prayerful pencil to your giving. Then fill out your estimate of giving card and return it to the church by our celebration on November 24. You may place your card in the offering plate on Sunday, mail it to the church, or make your pledge online through Realm. Please contact Mark Hagewood if you have questions or need assistance.
Your pledge helps us plan our 2020 ministry funding plan. Our goal is 365 cards - your card tells us you believe in what God is creating through Belmont. 2020 is a pivotal year in the life of our church and the Methodist church. We need you to help us create something new. Let us give generously, lend our hands, open our hearts, and raise our voice together.