Nov 15 – Treasure Chest 3

Treasure – Stewardship 2015
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Commitment Card

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Weekly Treasure Chest

This past summer my wife and I did something unprecedented; we went on vacation without our children.  Being the good United Methodists we are, we elected to go to that most spiritual of places, Las Vegas.

During a morning stroll; we wandered to old Downtown Vegas.  On the hunt for a lunch buffet some street vendors approached us.  It was a slow morning and only a few vendors were interested in interacting at the un-Vegas time of 10:30am.  In Vegas you get used to avoiding eye contact and saying “no thank you” as you walk past. This worked in all cases except one, Bernie.

Bernie was a sweet looking man, probably in his late 70s.  He had an orange vest with identification demonstrating someone had given him permission to interrupt people.  Bernie also had a notebook with an adorable puppy on the front cover.  In a well practiced move he some how pressed some toy plastic fans into our hands while offering, “Good Morning!”  We paused our stride for a moment as our instinctual Montana politeness took over and we offered our own “good morning” in reply.

Game over, he had us.  In a mix of determination and politeness Bernie shared that he was out that morning collecting for the local no kill animal shelter.  Without ever feeling like he was rushing, within 90 seconds we learned that $20 would spay or neuter an animal and save potential offspring from a poor existence in the alleys of Vegas.

My wife, the animal lover, was hooked.  We were after all not blinking about $80 dinner tabs or $100 show tickets.  What’s $20 to do something good?

One hitch, we had no cash.  My wife and I don’t carry cash.  This was unfortunate because Bernie had sold us on his mission.  He had real concern for the animals and we shared it.

Figuring we’d find an ATM near whatever buffet we found, I asked if he’d be around later.  “No problem,” he replied, with no hint of disappointment.  He rummaged around in his fanny packand  produced his smart phone and credit card reader.  “Most of my donations are this way now.  Even in Vegas no one has cash because the machines all take cards.”

Somewhere in there our $20 donation became $40, probably in relation to some comment made by Bernie about how beautiful my wife is. Did I mention he seemed well practiced?  Our time with Bernie lasted only a few minutes.  We left with smiles and the thought we’d done some good that morning.

In today’s world, how we interact with money is changing.  I would not want to be in the check printing business in the 21st century.  However, while how we relate to money physically might be changing our desire to be generous is not.  Bernie was prepared to accept our generosity in the way we were prepared to offer it. I don’t know if we would have found an ATM and connected with him.  Thankfully, because he was ready, we didn’t have to find out.  I want to thank you St. Paul’s for being ready to accept my generosity.

Rev. Jeremy W Scott

Jeremy is Vital Congregations Developer for the Mountain Sky Area of the United Methodist Church.  His primary role is helping congregations achieve vitality to share the gospel message in their community.

Treasure Hunt
Each week we will hide an image of a treasure chest with a new word somewhere online.  We ask people to explore our website, facebook and app to find this treasure.  When you do email Pastor Tyler at  Let us know what word was on it and where you found it.  When you find it you will be entered into a drawing for a Treasure daily devotional book that will happen each week at worship.
This week the image you are searching for is:

The image you are looking for is in a different location. Please note this is just a clue to tell you what you are looking for. The real image is somewhere on facebook, our app, or website.