2021 Stewardship Campaign
If you cannot view the video above, the text is below.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ
This has been a year like no other—it has been a time of great challenge but also a time of great grace. This year has brought fear and uncertainty. But, at the same time, this year has provided us with the opportunity to find new and creative ways to be connected with each other even though we may be separated.
This year has forced us to find new ways to be Church—new ways to carry on the mission of the Church, new ways celebrate our faith in Jesus and new ways to pray together.
In the midst of all this, God still call us to listen to his voice as he bids us to ‘Rise and Be not afraid.” These words, “Rise and be not afraid” are words that Jesus spoke to the apostles, Peter, James, and John, at a moment when they were particularly afraid.
I think God speaks these same words to us today in the midst of a pandemic and uncertainty. We rise to face new challenges, but we are not afraid because Jesus promised to be with us always—in all that we do in his name.
This year we were to have a grand celebration of the 140th anniversary of our parish and our church building. For 140 years, St James has been a continuing witness to the gospel in our community. One building, in three different locations, has been a constant sign of our presence in the community. Our continuing presence is a sign of the stewardship of those who have gone before us. It was their time, talent and treasure that has preserved the Episcopal witness in our community.
This is the time of year when the Vestry and I ask you to consider how you will continue the witness to which we are called by our baptismal covenant—to proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ; to serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as yourselves; and to strive for justice and peace among all people and respecting the dignity of every human being.
Stewardship is much more than the Sunday collection. It is much more than keeping the light on and the building warn. Stewardship is about how we manage the gifts that God has given us. Everything we have now and ever will have are gifts from God—We are called to manage God’s stuff—to use it for the good of all.
Since the Bishop appointed me your priest, we, as a parish, have been tithing—returning 10% of our pledges in service to the poor, the sick, the imprisoned, the lonely, and the forgotten—here in our own community and by our contribution to Episcopal Relief and Development—to those worldwide who need our help. We can’t save the world, but we can make a difference in the lives of those WE touch. So, Rise and be not afraid.
The Vestry and I ask you to prayerfully consider your pledge for 2021. There is a pledge form below this video, and there is also one on our parish website homepage. When you have made your decision, it will take just a minute or two to make your pledge.
In the meantime, Peace to you and blessings