From the outside, Plymouth Church appears to be a very wealthy church. It has beautiful buildings occupying valuable land. It has a robust endowment. It has generous congregation. In all of these areas and more, Plymouth is indeed a wealthy church.
But if you look at it another way, Plymouth possesses nothing. That’s right, nothing. Plymouth does not own anything – it does not own its building, its land, and its endowment. Plymouth is the steward of these material goods, entrusted to Plymouth over the years by dedicated members and generous donors. They do not belong to Plymouth. They belong to God. Plymouth is entrusted with the stewardship and wise use of these blessings. Plymouth, as a Congregational Church, elects its representative leadership, and asks that leadership to set priorities for how to manage the gifts in Plymouth’s custody. That is why, every year, Plymouth makes and votes on a budget. The budget is the clear indicator of how Plymouth is choosing to use the resources with which it has been entrusted. The budget is created by the leadership and voted on by the congregation. We are in this together.
Plymouth Church operates in good faith, attempting to employ these resources where they can do the most good in forwarding the Kingdom of God. Some resources go directly to help those most vulnerable and in need – victims of human trafficking, casualties of natural disasters, children in need of education and food. Other resources go to help those in spiritual need, and for this reason, Plymouth engages a top-notch staff, maintains a welcoming building, empowers a confident choir, all of which support the work of the community that gathers around Plymouth.
Every story is complicated, and this one is no exception. Some donors have made very generous gifts to Plymouth that carried restrictions in how they may be used, and the income from those gifts can only be spent on specific things. To act with integrity, the leadership must deploy those resources in accordance with the wishes of the donor. Plymouth might wish to use those funds in other ways, but it must keep faith with the donors
The gifts that bless Plymouth the most are the one that have no restrictions. Given from the heart, they allow the leadership and the congregation to set the priories of the church and use its resources advancing those priorities. And those priorities, in Brooklyn Heights and beyond, will advance the Kingdom of God.
The Stewardship Ministry invites you to prayerfully consider what you are able to give to support the work of Plymouth Church in the upcoming year. Plymouth’s year begins in July, and we know that seems like a lifetime away, but it is important for you to go on record now. Please take a few minutes to make your commitment this week – before Anniversary Sunday. Help us celebrate our 170th Anniversary but contemplating what we can accomplish before our 171st Anniversary.
Please be generous in your support of the work of Plymouth Church. Click Here to Make Your Commitment.
In Christian Fellowship,