Gestures of Generosity, February 2023

Gestures of Generosity

Thank you for your Gesture!

On Sunday, January 22, the Generosity Team explained and answered questions relating to per capita. We answered the reason to check that box on your pledge card, committing to pay $38.00 for each adult member of your household this year. We reviewed why we ask for that above and beyond your regular pledge and what these contributions were going toward.

However, not everyone pays toward per capita. If you weren’t able to join us for worship on the 22nd, you may not understand per capita. Unfortunately, not everyone chooses to participate in this special offering that offsets our “bill” from the denomination that funds our connectional church. But one household among us made a wonderful Gesture of Generosity and recently gave a special gift of $1000 to help cover unpaid per capita. The gift is truly appreciated. Thanks be to God for this Gesture of Generosity!

If you have a Gestures of Generosity story to share, please contact Cheri at communications@firstpresgreenbay.org.

January 2023 Gestures of Generosity

Gestures of Generosity 2022

Thank you for your Gesture!

One of the greatest gestures of generosity that any one person can give is the gift of themselves in the service of others. Judy Knutsen-Nerad is that person filled with Gestures of Generosity. She is selfless in the time, energy and effort she brings to our office whenever the need arises.

In early December, Leah took ill for more than a week and without hesitation, Judy quickly stepped in to fill the void. Whether it be answering the phone, receiving visitors, putting together the bulletin or working on the newsletter, throughout the year Judy doesn’t hesitate in the least to help when called and always with heartwarming smiles. Judy’s positive energy never falters and we’re all so thankful for how she gives so generously of her time and talent. THANK YOU, Judy, for your ongoing Gestures of Generosity!

Merry Christmas from Red Lobster! by Stephanie Fahringer

Gestures of Generosity

Meet James… James is Manager of Red Lobster on Lombardi Ave. Red Lobster donates frozen potatoes & Red Lobster biscuits for our pantry on a weekly basis.

For this Christmas season James & his entire crew donated nearly $600.00 of toys for our Toy Shop with a huge resounding MERRY CHRISTMAS from our Red Lobster crew!!

I am overwhelmed by the kindness & generosity displayed. James delivered them to our church & made sure I saw the guitar that he picked out!
A huge THANK YOU to all of your crew & may you all have a BLESSED & BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS! AMEN

Socks of Love receives some unsolicited Love

A new element of our annual Advent Workshop was a service project called “Socks of Love.” We collected donations of travel-sized toiletries and other items that might benefit people experiencing homelessness in our community, then stuffed them into a pair of warm wool socks. Thanks to all who contributed to filling these socks of love. An extremely generous financial contribution came in through our online giving portal to support this project as well, so we’ll be making more Socks of Love soon—thank you to our secret supporter!

We’d love to include your story in one of our upcoming Gestures of Generosity newsletter columns.

If you have a Gestures of Generosity story to share, please contact Cheri at communications@firstpresgreenbay.org.

Small Gifts Make a Big Difference in 2023

Gestures of Generosity

We want to express our sincere gratitude for your generous support of our 2023 Pledge Campaign, Gestures of Generosity. Gifts with personal meaning have a powerful impact. View our Gestures of Generosity videos on our YouTube Channel.

If you have not returned your 2023 pledge yet, please complete the pledge card and mail to the church office at 200 S. Ashland Avenue, 54303 or bring it to worship on any Sunday. Your pledge is needed and will make a difference as the Session finalizes our church’s plans and Ministry funding for this year. If you’ve misplaced your pledge card, please contact the office at office@firstpresgreenbay.org or call at 920-437-8121 and we’ll provide you with a new one.

As a reminder, the per capita for 2023 is $38.00 per member for the year.

Thank you again!

Gestures of Generosity – Thanksgiving Blessings

Gestures of Generosity Presbyterian Pantry

By Stephanie Fahringer

A car pulled up in the alley as I was unloading my jeep full of pantry Thanksgiving turkeys. The driver got out and asked if he could deliver some items he just bought for the Pantry.

This gentleman is a former Pantry guest and just wanted to say,

“Thanks for all the Presbyterian Pantry has done for me”.

I told him a HUGE THANK YOU and God Bless You!

Its Gestures of Generosity like this that make our community of faith what it is.

Gestures of Generosity is a new feature to our Connections newsletter. If you have a Gesture of Generosity that you’d like to share with our community, please contact Cheri at communications@firstpresgreenbay.org.

And, thank you to all who returned their 2023 Gestures of Generosity Pledge Cards. If you haven’t done so already, please return your pledge card as soon as possible. Thank you in advance for your generous support of our Gestures of Generosity campaign!

Final Gesture of Generosity – Planned Giving

What does it mean to be a generous person? During this season of giving we’ve explored how we’ve been called to be generous in our lives of faith: our gestures of generosity.

But, what about when our life has ended? Does our generosity end as well? This can actually be a time when we make one of our strongest statements about our faith!

Do you have a will? In addition to your family members, have you named organizations that will continue doing the work you value? Have you included the church in that list?

Gifts like these provide a tremendous opportunity for you to make a powerful statement about your faith. As a loyal giver throughout your lifetime, making a planned gift allows you to continue showing your faith even after you’re gone.

Planned gifts often enable you to make a larger donation. Most annual gifts come from income. Planned gifts come from your accumulated assets when they are no longer needed, allowing you to make a final larger gift.

Planned gifts allow you to maintain the work of the church. A gift from your estate will keep giving over a longer period of time. What could bring greater satisfaction now than knowing your resources are continuing to benefit others after you’re no longer here?

And, planned gifts allow you to establish a permanent living memorial for you or loved ones. Few remembrances are as lasting or meaningful as a living memorial that continues to minister to others in Christ’s name for generations to come.

Our church has been blessed with some very faithful givers – providing a final tribute to enable us to continue our mission.

One of those we celebrate every year on the first Sunday in March. The Augusta Jeffrey Award was a planned gift established to honor Augusta Jeffrey, a fervent volunteer and church member, while also recognizing the volunteer efforts of other church members. The money from the gift goes to support a ministry of the church of that year’s award recipient’s choosing. Over the years, many of our church members have been honored by this thoughtful and planned gift.

Other members have also thought of the church with one last gesture of generosity. Some have given from their estate, Russ and Margaret Leicht gifted us their cottage on the bay that we could later sell, and Lucia Stanfield wanted us to “dream big” with her dream fund to enable us do something that we might not otherwise be able to do without her gift.

Recently, Gene Reynolds promised to remember our church in his estate. Many years ago he purchased life insurance to provide for his wife Joan and their children. Because that financial assistance is no longer necessary, Gene has decided to honor Joan’s life and service to the church by making us the beneficiary of that policy. Gene’s thoughtful gift in memory of Joan will be used to help people in need, either through our pantry, Tank School, or by enhancing our church’s audio system to improve the worship experience for all, and especially those with hearing-related needs.

What does it mean to be a generous person? Studies often talk about characteristics like altruism, enthusiasm, energy, gratefulness, humbleness, optimism and patience.

While all these traits are probably accurate, John the Evangelist, boils it down to a single word: Love.

16 We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers and sisters. 17 How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? 18 Little children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.

1 John 3:16-18

Let these words be your guide as you show your gestures of generosity both in the coming year and for the many years to come.

YouTube Channel Debut – Subscribe Today!

The Communications and Technology committee is excited to share that our @FirstPresGB YouTube channel has debuted!

Please visit First Presbyterian Church of Green Bay – YouTube to watch the latest and greatest from our video gallery, and while you’re out there please SUBSCRIBE!

Our complete collection of Gestures of Generosity videos are on the channel for your viewing. Our first video, Motivations for Giving, was shared during worship earlier in October. Even if you viewed the videos when they premiered during worship, they’re worth viewing again so please visit our channel. And, if you missed it in worship you haven’t missed out altogether – visit our channel!

Thanks to our videographer, Tom Shoffelman, for your incredible, creative, talent! And, although our Gestures of Generosity videos are complete and commitment Sunday has passed, it’s not too late to turn in your pledge card so please send those in soon.

Our worship video archive will remain housed on our Facebook Livestream video archive.

Generosity Defined

What does it mean to be a generous person? Generosity is defined as the spirit and action of freely and frequently giving to others.

During this season of giving – as we contemplate our own pledge to the church for the coming year – we’re exploring how we’ve been called to be generous in our lives of faith. After all, Jesus talked about generosity often in his parables and sermons.

Did you know that giving is actually good for you? There’s science to back this idea up! Studies have shown that giving of your time, your talent and your treasure benefits the giver in multiple ways:


Giving makes us feel happy; it actually activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure and releases endorphins which improve our sense of well-being.
• Giving is good for our health. It’s been shown to lessen stress, a risk factor for high blood pressure, heart disease, and other conditions.
• And giving is contagious. Think about our pay it forward campaign from a few years ago and the people who picked up on the idea and did something similar.

But don’t just take science’s word for it. Listen to what your fellow church members have to say about how giving has positively affected their lives.

Kirke Ryder says that being generous – whether it be through the giving of his time, money or expertise – makes him feel happier because he knows he’s helping make the world be a better place. He says he finds it very rewarding, pointing to his support of Feed My Starving Children for the past nine years. Knowing that he’s helped feed countless children and turned their lives around for the better is a feeling of joy that Kirke says can’t be matched.

Judy Knutzen-Nerad knows that exact same feeling. She says being generous gives her tremendous joy because she knows she’s making a difference in someone else’s life. Even more than the tangible gift being given, Judy believes it’s the love the person feels that’s the real benefit, knowing that someone cares and that they are not alone in their time of need.

Even the smallest among us understands this joy. Loni McCormick’s granddaughter Grace recently gave her a gift of love that warms both their hearts. Grace spent an entire afternoon drawing Loni a picture, and then cutting it up into little pieces and placing them in a Valentine box. Grace wanted Loni to have all those little pieces of her artwork because she knew they would make Grandma happy and show how much she loved her. The box sits on Loni’s headboard, quietly awaiting the next gift of specialness from Grandma’s sweet girl.

In economic terms, giving means we have less than what we started with, but science, the Bible and our fellow church members teach us that when we give to others, we gain. In Acts chapter 20, verse 35 we hear the words of Jesus who said, “It is more blessed to give than receive.” This heartwarming quote reminds us that giving to the church to help us fulfill our mission can bring a great sense of fulfillment and joy to the giver.

The story of Jesus’ ministry is filled with examples of generosity. Jesus sets a high standard of giving and caring for others. As we learn how to adopt gestures of generosity, let us continue to look to Jesus as the ultimate expression of generosity and sacrifice.

Gestures of Generosity – A Call to Discipleship

Gestures of Generosity

What are the gestures we use every day to signal our willingness to answer the call to discipleship? What small actions do we take that symbolize our participation, our commitment, our enthusiasm for the ministry in this place? Can you give a “thumbs up” to God? What about circling your thumb and first finger to make an “ok” sign? Can you imagine God gesturing to you with the universal “come here” gesture? Or maybe with arms wide to welcome you in? Maybe you’ll make a “peace” sign as your gesture, or open your hands to receive all the gifts God is giving you right now. As we move into the season of the church year when our focus turns to our stewardship and how we support the work of the church with our time, talent and treasures, the Generosity Team is asking you to consider many different Gestures of Generosity this year.

Over three weeks in October, we will share some stories of generosity from members and friends of this congregation. We will distribute a narrative budget that seeks to explain how contributions are used and what ministries we support. And we will be asking for your Gesture of Generosity in the way of a financial pledge for 2023.

Please join us in this effort and share from your heart.

Gestures of Generosity

Gestures of Generosity

Following an excellent workshop presented to the Session, Finance and Stewardship committees last spring, the Stewardship committee changed their name to Generosity Team and they have been focusing on recognizing and lifting up all the generosity experienced in this community of faith.

This fall the pledge campaign has taken on the theme “Gestures of Generosity” and will help us all look at how we are called to be generous in our lives of faith.

Special Sundays are planned in late October with the culmination of the campaign on Sunday October 30th as we all make our pledges of generosity to the church for 2023. Watch your mail and other church communications for more details and begin thinking about your own opportunities to demonstrate generosity in gratitude to God for all God’s generosity toward us.