I write as someone you associate with your spiritual needs and your spiritual growth. As your priest there are other things expected of me but none as important as offering you opportunities to grow closer to God and inviting you to conduct yourselves as children of God. While you may not associate your monetary gifts to the church with your spiritual needs and growth, I invite you to do so.
If you pray and take time for meditation and reflection only when you’ve finished with everything else on your schedule, or only when you are desperate, your spiritual house is in chaos. When we learn to put God first and have time for prayer and reflection as the first thing we devote ourselves to, we come to find peace and wisdom. We have more time, more energy, more patience, more of a sense of rightness in our world. The decisions we make and the actions we take become so much better. We feel like we are giving life our best shot and experience the encouragement of knowing our lives are more pleasing to God when God is first rather than last.
Putting God first in our monetary lives has a very similar effect. Typically we give money to God’s work in the world when we see what is left over after we pay all our bills and buy the things we think will make us happy. Predictably there is very little left over after all that and we give to God knowing we have not put him first. To live knowing God is last in our priorities feels horrible. Our house is in disarray and a little voice inside us cries out for adjustment in the way we conduct ourselves.
To put God first in my financial conduct creates exactly the same kind of centeredness that praying first does. Choosing to make a monetary gift to the church first and then living off of what is left allows me to know a sense of spiritual well-being. We find that we have enough to do the things that are really needed in life, enough to buy things we want, and feel good about our finances, all because we put God first.
God First is the theme of our Annual Stewardship Campaign this year. I assure you that if you choose to give 10% of your money to the church, and then live off of what is left, you will have enough and you will feel a sense of encouragement that nothing else you spend your money on can give you.
As your Vestry and I ask you to make a pledge of your financial commitment for the year ahead, we also will share with you our proposed budget for 2018. It is a budget which controls expenses carefully and increases the amount of money we spend beyond ourselves. It is a responsible budget produced by wise minds. A 5% increase over last year’s giving is required to make this budget possible.
We ask that every member attend one Stewardship Meeting to hear about our plans for next year and our overall financial health as a parish. The meetings are held on Sundays at noon – October 8, 15, and 22 – and they last 30 minutes. Please plan to attend one of those meetings which will be held in the church right after the 10:30 Eucharist. Your pledge packets will be available for you there.
Please put God First in your prayers and your financial giving. The rewards are plentiful.
Robert C. Wisnewski, Jr.
Stewardship Meetings – October 8, 15, 22 – at noon in the Church
Please plan to attend one of the Stewardship meetings, lasting 30 minutes, and hear about the benefits of putting God first in our monetary lives. A budget proposed for 2018 will be presented, as well as news about our financial health as a parish. Your pledge cards will be available at that time. If you are unable to attend a meeting, a canvasser will call on you.
Special Events Around the Corner
Blessing of the Animals – October 1 at 5:00 pm
Stewardship Meetings – October 8, 15, 22 at noon (30 minutes)
Evensong – October 15 at 4:00 pm
Halloween Carnival – October 25 at 6:00 pm
Grounds Clean Up Day – November 5 at noon
Ordination to the Priesthood for Jamie Osborne – November 11 at 11:00 am
Bazaar – November 15
Stop Hunger Now – November 26 – need 100 volunteers!