|Stewardship is an all Year Around Effort|
|We continue to focus on Stewardship as an all year around effort. Your many gifts and talents are generously offered throughout the year, and the fall brings focus on financial giving. This year’s theme is Faith-Filled Generosity as you have seen in your Every Member Canvass booklet and package which should have arrived at your home. If for some reason you have not received one, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This Sunday, November 8, is Commitment Sunday when we ask that all pledge cards be returned to St. John’s either via mail or by placing them in the offering plate at 9 a.m. In advance we thank you for your generosity.|
Parishioners continue to share stories of why St. John’s is important to them and why financial giving is needed. This year’s financial giving is more important than ever, given the impact of COVID-19 and the hope we have for the future. We invite you to pray deeply about your giving. More than ever we need to join together in sustaining our church home, the ministries outside our walls, and all the ways we are called to be on God’s mission in this place. Rhode van Gessel shares her story with us this week and we are grateful for her ministry among us.
A faith filled generosity reflection
A dear friend sent me this snippet about grace and stewardship … “stewardship is taking care of ‘things’ that are not intrinsically ours. They’re things entrusted to our care. When I used to think about being a good steward, I just thought it meant taking care of my things, being responsible with my money, my family etc… What I didn’t realize was my things … weren’t really mine at all. They all belong to God.”
In 2008 I received a frantic call about my fathers’ lifestyle and spending habits from cousins in the Netherlands who happened to live near my dad. It appeared he was “illegally sheltering an undocumented, homeless person from China” and “was spending all his time and income” helping this man with identity and working papers. AND, they complained, not only him, but others were taking advantage of my father.
Rick and I had wondered why my usually independent frugal Pop had been askingus for a bit of financial help. We now worried my dad was being foolish, not just with our cash but with his life. As his dutiful daughter, I could at least ask him to be more careful! That opportunity appeared as we received another call asking for help. I said “Pop, I heard you were harboring illegals and that our money was going to them and not your bills?”
…“Your money?” My dad snorted …”Everything we have belongs to God, including my life. He has blessed us so much. Do not ask me not to bless others with what I have been freely given.” Ouch. After my father passed away in 2014, I heard someone say ‘God’s money lives in my pocket.’ My dad would have said “Amen!”
A LETTER FROM THE EPISCOPAL NETWORK OF STEWARDSHIP
Lives shaped by The Beatitudes by Mary MacGregor
Canon Mary MacGregor is a member of the board of The Episcopal Network for Stewardship. She has been deeply involved in congregational development for over 25 years, and served as Canon for Congregational Vitality and Mission Amplification for the Diocese of Texas.
- How do The Beatitudes impact your understanding of God’s generosity?
- How has that understanding changed you?