Friday, October 16 2020
They are to do good, to be rich in good works, generous, and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life that really is life.
1 Timothy 6:18-19 NRSVA
This week, we sent out our annual pledge cards so that the vestry could plan the budget for next year. I humbly ask you to pray about your stewardship at St. John’s, fill out your pledge card, and send it to the office. Stewardship should be a joyful celebration of giving back to God what God has already given us. “God’s initiative is always to bless, and that blessing is never earned, it is freely given. Christians primarily know the blessing of God’s grace in the gift of our baptism. The Book of Common Prayer tells us that in our baptism the bond that is established cannot be dissolved. We share the same blessing given to Jesus in his baptism: 'This is my beloved, in you I’m well pleased.' By virtue of our baptism, we are blessed to be a blessing. We, in turn, bless God by offering praise and thanksgiving for the goodness of gifts given. To worship God is to offer something of value. We offer praise and thanksgiving not only with our lips but with our lives. The annual pledge campaign can be an opportunity to bless God and bless the community from the offerings of the labor of our lives. Through our commitment to proportional giving, we offer a pledge of thanksgiving for all we have received and for all we will become as we grow into the image of Christ” (Blessed to be a blessing).
Give of your time, talent and treasure to God because you truly believe that Christ died that you might have abundant life. When a heart is filled with the love of God, the desire to give a portion back comes from deep within, not from a rational sense of obligation. We use the gifts that God has given us to do the work God is calling us to do. God will never ask you to do anything unless God provides the means for you to do it. You should give proportionately to God what God has given to you. If you have time, give of your time. If you have talent, give of your talent. If you have treasure, give of your treasure. God wants to bring you to wholeness in your life. Give from your heart and St. John’s will serve this community with generosity as we have for the past 275 years. Both for the individual and for the community, stewardship is a joyful act for the sake of God's world. Please give joyfully from your heart. God is well pleased when we give in this manner and will provide everything we need to do the work that God calls us to do.
God’s abundance is a feeling that what you do matters and that your life has meaning. God’s abundance includes our worship, our music, our pastoral care and our physical buildings and property. In a time of despair and worry, God offers hope and contentment. In a time of enmity and separation, God offers love and unification. In a time of uncertainty, God offers us eternal life. By the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, we know that God’s unending love for us is real and that God’s promises are true. I urge you to see your life as a precious gift from God and to give of your time, talent and treasure accordingly.
In Christ’s love,
Rev. Duncan Burns