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Stewardship

Every good gift comes from God.  Everything we have has been entrusted to us by our Creator — whether it’s our health or our finances, our time or our talents, our earth and its environment.  God created it all; we are merely stewards or caretakers.  So when Christians talk about how we manage our time, our talents, and our resources, we call it stewardship.  Are we taking care of what God has entrusted to us and are we using it the way God would have us use it?

To manage our resources as a church, we rely on the giving of all our members to help cover the costs of our facility, pay our staff for their hard work, and enable a huge array of ministries and outreach at Highland.  Each fall, we ask everyone who is committed in sharing life together at Highland to make a commitment to what they will contribute of their prayers, presences, gifts, service, and witness in the coming year.  This pledge can be made in worship on Sunday mornings during our stewardship series, by visiting the business office at the church, or online at the link below.

Make your 2021 Commitment

Stewardship Devotion - week 1

God Is With Us
"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word was with God in the beginning. Everything came into being through the Word… The Word became flesh and made his home among us… We have seen his glory, glory like that of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth… From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace…"

These words from the beginning of John’s Gospel remind us how much God loves us. God desires to live in our midst and to experience all we experience. The glory of God through Christ’s presence is always with us; we are assured of this. The beauty of this promise is that regardless of our circumstances, God is with us. While "doing church" during this time of Covid can be a challenge, we aren’t doing it alone. When we watch our streaming worship services, participate in Zoom Bible Studies and Sunday School classes, God is with us. Whether we are meeting outside with friends (while physically distanced) or praying and studying alone at home, we are assured God is present and we have received grace upon grace. We can respond to God’s love by graciously continuing our support of Highland with our prayers, our gifts, our service, and our witness.
Almighty God, we are ever grateful for the promises you have made and you have kept. May we who have seen Christ’s glory learn to live in it and serve through it. Amen.
~ Alan Swartz

Stewardship Devotion - week 2

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters…He restoreth my soul…I will fear no evil for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." -excerpts from the 23rd Psalm
This is an amazing Psalm, both powerful and beautiful in its imagery and comforting in its message….we are not alone no matter what path we walk. For me, the 23rd Psalm is also relevant as I think about stewardship and the church. The Psalm tells how the tools of the shepherd, the rod and the staff, are a comfort to the sheep; they bring order and control and safety to the flock. It's been said, and I do believe, that the church is not a place but rather THE PEOPLE who are part of it….and yet, what 'tools’ of our Lord are with us to show that he is in control and has things covered?
Living in the neighborhood I’m often driving down Ridge Rd. or up Lake Boone, and every time my eyes will gaze over at our beautiful buildings….the strong brick walls, the white lofty steeple, and for me it is a comfort. A very physical symbol of the love and support that is our Lord. It brings a smile to my face every single time! However I know the walls are only as strong as the human masonry that supports them, and our involvement is vital in maintaining this place where we join together and rejoice at God’s presence in our lives. There are many different reasons that inspire us as we consider our stewardship commitment for the year ahead: the positive impact Highland UMC has on us during good times and bad, as well as the important role our church plays in the community.
Please thoughtfully consider all this as you prepare your commitments to Highland in the year ahead. Our donations, not just of gifts but also of prayers, presence and service are so important in strengthening Highland UMC’s reassuring influence in our lives.
~ John Shutt

Stewardship Devotion - week 3

Will you come and follow me
If I but call your name?
Will you go where you don't know
And never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown,
Will you let my name be known,
Will you let my life be grown
In you and you in me? 
(The Summons, John Bell)

These words are from one of my favorite hymns and is written by Scottish hymn writer John L. Bell. The lyrics are written as though Jesus is singing to you asking what will you do if he calls your name.

Will you leave yourself behind? Will you care for cruel and kind?
Will you love the 'you’ you hide? Will you set the prisoners free? Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me? Will you use the faith you’ve found to reshape the world around, through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?

It is a hymn of questions. It is a hymn about our commitment to Jesus. How committed are we to the call of Christ. Will we follow if the cost is our status… our comfort? We will follow if it leads us into uncharted territory or require us to think outside the box? We will follow if it means taking off the masks we wear and being honest with ourselves and with others?

When Jesus would call his disciples, he never told them where they might be going. He simply said, "Come, follow me." What do you think when we hear those words? Jesus is still calling us to come and follow.

When someone becomes a member of Highland, we ask them a few questions - the final question being: "Will you participate in the ministries of Highland through your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness?" In other words, will you live out your baptismal call to serve Jesus by participating in the life of Highland? Will you serve Jesus here? Will you be Jesus’s hands and feet here?

Committing to a journey sometimes unknown is hard. It can be frightening. But we are not alone. For we are a family of faith walking this journey together. We can do more by pooling our resources together than on our own. We answer the call of stewardship from that commitment to following Christ in this community.
Let us pray:
Gracious God, you call us to follow you throughout our lives. You call us to open our hearts, to open our eyes, to open our hands. Grant us, O Lord, the courage to trust where you lead us, the vision to see the future that you have for our community of Highland, and the faith to step out of the boat when you call us to. Amen.
~ Amanda Bunce

Stewardship Devotion - Week 4

Strengthen Our Ministry Foundation

In Luke 6:48-49, we remember Jesus’ parable about building a house on solid foundations vs. foolishly building on sand. As we consider our stewardship for the coming year, it is well to consider the condition of the strength of the "foundation" of HUMC. Happily, faithful, and sacrificial stewardship by many, has helped to maintain the strength of our "foundation" through very troubled times. With that faithful ongoing support, we have been able to meet expenses through this current period. With thanks for that, Highland still stands on "solid stone," and we are not required to completely rebuild the "foundation" of our ministry for 2021. Still, it is useful to reflect on how the "tides" of the COVID-19 pandemic have created a very troubling and trying time for essentially everyone. The shut-down of almost all normal activities and elimination of most face-to-face gatherings has resulted in growing financial distress for most of the population of the world as well as here in the U.S. and North Carolina. During these past months, we are painfully aware that many in our church family have been adversely impacted by the troubled economy. 

 As we look ahead to 2021, we know there will be an unfortunate economic carry-over for many of our people. While we look forward to resuming a more normal time of gathered-together worship and times of study, pledges to participate in returning worship and study events are especially important. Also consider that many of our people will need to continue to participate in worship and study via remote streaming. With this need, special gifts to augment our ability to better serve many "electronically" also will be helpful. While the effects of continuing economic tides may threaten the strength of our "foundation," in considering your pledge for the coming year, please prayerfully remember how a few extra "sandbag and stone gifts" could help reinforce the "foundation" and effectiveness of our ministries.

~ John Robinson

Give Online

  1. Click the Give Online button below.
  2. Enter your gift amount.
  3. Click Select a fund to choose what area you’d like to support.
  4. Enter your email address.
  5. Click Continue.
  6. Choose how you want to give:
    • To set up a recurring donation, choose Sign in or Create an Account.
    • To give a onetime donation, click Continue as Guest.
  7. Choose your account type.
    • Credit/Debit Card
    • Checking Account
  8. Enter your account number and billing address.
  9. Click Give to complete your donation.

Give Online

Create An Account

As a church member or regular contributor at Highland, you might want to set up your own account on Access ACS. If you chose to Create an Account, look for an email with instructions on creating a password to sign in and manage your gift.

Can't Remember Your Password?

You can click the forgot password link from the Access ACS sign in screen or contact the church office (919-787-4240 or e-mail Jim), and we can help you reset your password.

Recurring Donations

Set up your gift in four easy steps through our online giving portal (Access ACS)

  1. GIFT: Enter an amount and date and choose whether this is a one-time or recurring gift. Click Continue.
  2. FUNDS: Enter amounts for each fund you wish to support. Click Continue.
  3. PAYMENT METHOD: Choose from your saved payment methods or click Add a New Payment Method. If you do not have any payment methods on file, you will be directed to the form to add one. Click Continue.
  4. REVIEW & PROCESS: Verify your information. Click Back to make changes or Process Gift to contribute.

You can print a receipt for your records. You will also receive a confirmation.

Text to Give

To give via text, send HUMCR $50 (or any amount) to the phone number 73256. You’ll receive a text message in response with your next steps. After you give one time, your payment method is saved, so you can quickly give again from your phone.

You can also text to give to special funds and missions efforts at Highland. To give to a particular fund, include the name of the fund in your text, separated by a space (e.g. HUMCR Habitat $50). If you don't specify a particular fund, your contribution goes to our General Fund. Here is a list of funds currently enabled for text giving:

  • Backpack (Backpack Buddies)
  • Building (Capital Renovation work)
  • Crop (CROP Walk)
  • EndmtHUMC (Endowment)
  • Habitat
  • HSP
  • PastorDiscrFund (Pastors' Discretionary Fund)
  • DisasterSpclHUMC (HUMC's Disaster Relief Fund, supporting our own disaster relief team's work)