Our generosity is informed by the simple theological truth that God has blessed us infinitely with all of the gifts of Creation. Our lives, our labor, our love is devoted to the mission of the Church when we take stock and realize that our lives and our response to God’s generosity are Rooted in Abundance.
During our Stewardship Campaigns, we meditate on the annual theme – this year looking at how our lives are rooted in abundance. When I think of being rooted, I think of my foundation. The groundedness that allows me to grow, to stand firm, to feel comforted and at home. When I moved to Wisconsin, I prioritized trying to put down roots – to feel at home and supported by not only the community of St. Mary’s, but also the broader community. I made friends, found volunteer opportunities and explored my surroundings.
To be rooted in abundance means that at our most foundational level we are nurtured by God’s love and grace. We have God’s love and blessings in our lives, and never need fear that scarcity. That is an awesome and overwhelming reassurance. As humans we seek love and affirmation and belonging with such fear. I think there is a reason that high schools are over-represented as settings of television shows and movies. It’s a formative time when we feel overtly judged. But being rooted in abundance means that doesn’t matter. We have God’s approval, love and affirmation. We can stand firm and strong, knowing we are loved. We can bear fruit that is nourished by that love.
When I consider my annual pledge, I spend time reflecting on what St. Mary’s means to me. I give thanks for what we have learned, how we have loved and the ways in which we have served. And then I reflect on my previous year’s giving and challenge myself to give more. It’s not always a large increase, but I try to grow into it. I currently do give away over ten percent of my income, and I am moving towards having ten percent go directly to the church. That is my pledge commitment, and like all spiritual disciplines, it is a personal and unique commitment between individuals and God.
Our annual stewardship campaign will run from September 17 to October 1. If you would be willing to share your own thoughts on what it means to be rooted in abundance, please let me know. I am hoping to have at least one writer each of the three weeks. Articles would need to be sent to Lynn the Monday before.
Prayers and Blessings,