Sharing God’s Blessings
A letter from our Rector
Around this time of the year I’ll hear parishioners say: “It’s stewardship time.” I find that an interesting statement, because for me, every day of my life is “stewardship time.” Oh, I know folks are referring to the annual stewardship program, and making a pledge, but stewardship is so much more than an annual program. Stewardship is a spiritual journey that is not just about how much we will pledge to St. Paul’s, but also the everyday decisions we make with the rest of our money all year. Stewardship is all that I do, with all that I have, all the time.
Besides being stewards of what we give away, we are stewards when we stand in the checkout line at the local supermarket, we are stewards when we place an order on Amazon, we are stewards when we buy a house, we are stewards when we decide on vacation plans, we are stewards when we buy new clothes, we are stewards when we buy toys for our children, and we are stewards when we invest in a 401K. We are stewards of all God has given us. And does both our spending and our giving express the wise use of those gifts? We’re making those decisions every day.
A wise priest once told me about a dualism with which we live our lives. We often read the Gospel as if we have no money, and spend our money as if we have never heard the Gospel. Stewardship is about joining the Gospel message to the ways we use our money. And coming to realize it is not OUR money, but rather a gift from God, entrusted to us to share and make a difference in our world. Did you know that in the scriptures, Jesus talked about money more than he talked about love? If Jesus was preaching in church on Sundays you’d probably hear a lot about money, and how we are called to use it wisely. I think that would surprise many of us.
During the month of October, 2017 you will be invited to prepare to make your financial commitment to St. Paul’s for 2018. During the final Sundays of October our liturgies will reflect upon the ways your financial commitment makes a difference in our world. I invite you to help St. Paul’s make a difference by sharing God’s blessings. The vestry has set three priorities for the 2018 operating budget which consist of compensation for clergy and staff, outreach, and programs. Let us all join together and Share God’s Blessings.
St. Paul’s will kick off the 2018 Stewardship Campaign on Oct. 15, 2017. Over the course of five weeks we will hear the voices and see the faces of St. Paul’s parishioners as they describe, in their own words, life and love at St. Paul’s. We will celebrate the Sharing God’s Blessings Campaign with a Brunch on November 12, 2017-all are welcome to attend. The brunch will begin at 10:15 AM and will conclude at 12:00 noon and will be held in the Parish Hall. We hope your family will join us in this celebration.
Pledge cards will be mailed out in early October. Please check your mailbox for your BLUE stewardship envelope, which includes a stamped return envelope. You may return your pledge card in that envelope, place your envelope in the collection plate or bring your pledge card to the church office. And, for a special treat, 5 lucky stewardship envelopes will contain a Golden Ticket for a special, sweet surprise! Be sure to open your envelope to see if your family has a treat waiting for them at church.
If you have any questions about pledge cards, Electronic Funds Transfers (EFTs) of pledge contributions, weekly/monthly contribution envelopes, or any questions about pledging and contributing, please contact Christine Ingram, Parish Administrator, at the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-467-1477, ext. 19).