This fall we have the opportunity to reflect on all the ways we have been blessed during the annual stewardship campaign. The campaign’s theme, “Living Generously”, reminds us of the source of our gifts and that giving is one aspect of our relationship and ongoing conversation with our Creator. Just as God blesses us, we in turn express our gratitude for those blessings by passing on a share of them to do the work we are called to do as members of the Body of Christ.
Through a series of dinners held in the homes of our parishioners over the summer and fall, we have celebrated God’s gifts to us through the Saint Mark’s community in which we live and minister and to those outside our parish to whom we reach out and lift up. The gift of this work gives life and it is part of the work to which Christians around the world commit themselves every day. In sharing our blessings we have looked not only to past blessings, but shared our hopes and dreams for what God may be calling us to do in the future. This year our rector and stewardship chairs have asked us to respond to God’s generosity in the letters that are linked here:
“This year’s stewardship theme – “Living Generously” – reflects my relationship since arriving at Saint Mark’s while in middle school almost six years ago…”
– Peter Schoellkopff
“Three things in my life lift my spirit: being with family, which particularly includes spending time with my grandchildren, riding my bicyle, and being a part of this parish family.”
– Bill Silliman
“Each year my wife, Andrea and I prayerfully consider how to give to the many worthwhile organizations in our community.”
– Kelley Kelleher
The Stewardship Season for 2017 begins with the “Beating of the Bound”s on Sunday, October 9. This ancient Anglican custom ensured that members of the parish knew where its boundaries met the boundaries of the next parish so that everyone could be properly cared for as the body of Christ. Today “Beating of the Bounds” reminds us that our “boundaries” extend into the community and the world at large with a responsibility to serve all of God’s people we may meet. Our rector, Paul St. Germain will give the stewardship sermon.
In the weekly bulletin, we found reflections written by Episcopal stewardship leaders across the country relating to the gospel reading of the day. Prayers of the people during those services reflected stewardship themes of “Living Generously”.
For the first time we will receive a motivational letter in the mail from our rector, including a 2017 Pledge card, early in November.
We will hear stories of personal transformation through the practice of intentional giving from our fellow parishioners—this year representing multiple generations including youth.
On October 30th, we will celebrate Commitment Sunday, when pledge cards were completed and offered as an act of worship and in response to all that God has provided.
As we move through 2017 we will be reminded that it is never too late to make a commitment if we have not done so, and that all gifts help empower the ministry of Christ through Saint Mark’s.