When we set “Faith-Filled Generosity” as the theme for this year’s stewardship campaign, none of us could have known what this year would be like. I need not remind you of the disruptions, sorrows, losses, and anxieties that this year has brought to our communities, for we are all still living with the impacts. I can say, however, that although the coronavirus pandemic has tested our resolve, it has not tested our faith. We are stronger, more resilient, and more connected than we have ever been as a Church and as a community of neighbors. Thank you. Thanks to each one of you doing your part in your homes, workplaces, schools, neighborhoods, families, and here in our church.
Our stewardship and our mission this year have been focused on service. As we looked at the probability of weeks or months of not being able to gather in person, we quickly developed the ability to meet virtually – thanks originally, to Fletcher Harper, who volunteered some of GreenFaith’s Zoom capacity to the church. Then came the offering of the special talents of some of our leadership as we formed a “tech team” to ensure our weekly worship (Thank you, Fletcher, Kiki, Kate, Ethel, Henry, Hank, Shanna, Hannah, John, Lisa M., and yes, the Vicar was on it!) With each week, our time together has become deeper, more spirited, more caring and more connected, as all of you take ever more time to pray for each other’s needs and serve our communities. You have used this time to discover, hone, and put to use your God-given gifts to love and to serve one another.
We have our own prophets and saints who have given sacrificially to ensure Our Saviour’s continued presence in this world: among them, Penny, Ethel, Edna, Pat, and others who have been very bright lights in our midst. And, throughout this long and trying year, I have witnessed the countless ways that you have used your resources for the mission of the Church and to help each other. I have found you all inspiring and hopeful as we plan our work together in 2021. This coming year, we will explore the way that our generosity is inspired by our faith, how we are formed and led into relationship with each other as we discover that God has put us together here, as the Bible says, “for just such a time as this.” Esther 4:14. This is what we mean by “Faith-Filled Generosity.”
Will you continue to discover and use the gifts you have been given to support the ministries of Our Saviour in the coming year? How will you hear the Gospel call to seek and serve Christ in all people, and respond with generosity? As I look at each family, each individual in our community, I realize that we are the stewards of God’s manifold grace because we give to the world from what we have received. Your faithful pledging and gifts to the church make all the difference in allowing us to inspire hope and give witness How to the love and generosity of God in this place.
This year, your stewardship committee is recommending our online pledge card and an appeal. I invite you to receive this with grace and prayer as you consider how you will share with God and God’s Church from what you have received.
In the spirit of generosity and love,