I confess that during stewardship, I struggle with talking plainly about money. Along with politics and religion, money seems to be a taboo topic, and certainly the decisions we make on how to spend our money are deeply personal ones. As I squirm in my seat, however, I am reminded of the example and theology of my first bishop. When he came for visitation, he would lift up the offering plates and bless them. In our economic society, we are able to convert our time and talent into money. As such, when we lift up the offering plates, we are lifting the physical representation of our equivalent time and labor to God. There is something moving about thinking about my offering in terms of x hours of work, and offering that directly to God.
Our Stewardship campaign claims that “When we give out of our abundance, there is always more than enough.” I do think that being fully aware of our resources can promote gratitude and generosity. I am struck by the fortune that allows me to meet my needs of shelter, food, safety, all while working a job that brings meaning and joy to my life. I also find joy in being able to help – whether by volunteering, donating items (often baked goods) or giving financial help. Sometimes financial help is all I can offer. For instance, I support a child Ecuador through Children’s International. I may not be able to be there physically, but I write her letters and help support her and her family. When I began, she was four and her mother wrote her letters. Now she’s 12 years old and writes her own letters. Supporting St. Mary’s, though, means that I am able to help make our ministry possible. The joy, formation and relationships that are so consequential and essential to me are also directly supported by me, which is really neat. I hope you find similar joy and meaning in your time and support of St. Mary’s, and that it feels like giving from a place of abundance.
A week from Sunday at 9 a.m. Coffee Hour we will welcome Sherry from Angel’s Grace to tell us more about hospice. The day I turned 18 my mother sat me down and had me fill out an Advanced Care Directive. As part of that conversation, we tried to articulate our desires and wishes, should the one ever need to make health decisions for the other. I hope you find your anxiety lessens as you learn more about the potential options available to you.
We have four sign ups in the Parish Hall. Please put your name down to go hiking (October 1), to help with food for Life Transitions Classes (October 3, 10, 17), to volunteer for Adopt a Highway (October 15), or to come to Bingo Night (October 29).
Prayers and Blessings,