Friday, October 14 2022
A man is walking down the beach and comes across an old bottle. He picks it up, pulls out the cork and out pops a genie! The genie says, "Thank you for freeing me from the bottle. In return I will grant you three wishes." The man says "Great! I always dreamed of this and I know exactly what I want. First, I want one billion dollars in a Swiss bank account."
Poof! There is a flash of light and a piece of paper with account numbers appears in his hand! He continues, "Next, I want a brand new red Ferrari right here."
Poof! There is a flash of light and a bright red, brand-new Ferrari appears right next to him!
He continues, "Finally, I want to be irresistible to women."
Poof! There is a flash of light and he turns into a box of chocolates.
Before I talk about our stewardship campaign, I wanted to say that some folks have a misguided idea that money, fast cars, and increased sex appeal are what we should aspire for. As I grow older, I realize more and more that long-term relationships bring the greatest joy. Your children, spouse, family, and friends are important examples. A relationship with God can be at the center of your life and will help you maintain all your other relationships. What you may learn in a long term relationship with Jesus Christ is that you are created perfectly as you are, you are deeply loved, and that you have more than enough already without a billion dollars, a new Ferrari or increased sex appeal.
And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. And all ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces. Luke 9:16-17, NRSV
This year our campaign focuses on the miracle of sharing, the ways in which our means meet the needs of the world, the ways in which we respond to the Gospel, the ways in which we sustain our community. More Than Enough, the theme for our campaign, brings us back to that moment of miracle described in Luke’s Gospel, having just been fed by Jesus from a scant few loaves and fishes. The people in that story heard Jesus’ call to share what they had in order that all might benefit. When we have strategies that need to be developed, or committees that need to be staffed, or problems that need to be solved, you answer the call of your church, and share your wisdom and experience. You are that inspiration and action, without whom our church and our ministry would be diminished. I ask that you pray with us as we launch our annual gathering of gifts and gratitude, and consider how you will contribute your gift of wisdom.
Our pledge campaign kicks off this year on October 23rd and continues on October 30th and November 7th. You will receive a pledge card in the mail this week and I ask you to prayerfully consider the gifts that you receive and ask you to give to St. John's on a proportional basis. I ask you to turn in a pledge so our vestry can set a budget for 2023. Please consider raising your pledge this year so that St. John's may continue to grow and flourish. You may send your pledge card to the office at 12 Prospect St. or place it in the Sunday offering. Each of the next three Sundays you will hear parishioners witness to the love and mercy of God that they have experienced at St. John's.
St. John's Annual Harvest Fair will take place on Saturday, October 22nd from 10AM to 4PM. This is an “all hands on deck” event. Join us by just coming down and lending a hand. New members are especially encouraged to join in. Please invite your friends and neighbors to attend. Our ECW will give a substantial portion of the proceeds to local charities. Help us to help others.
I am so grateful for you. Your faithful membership at St. John's and your generosity sustains our ministry and is a source of encouragement to me.
In Christ's love,