Planting Seeds of Hopefulness: Stewardship 2020
Dear Members, Newcomers, and Friends of Saint Stephen's,
When the leaves are starting to fall and the ground is preparing for the winter months, we will leave the comfort of our pews, and the celebration of a warm meal, to walk our grounds and put our hands in the soil. On Sunday, November 17, you will be invited to join other parishioners and to take a few daffodil bulbs and plant them throughout the grounds of our beautiful church home. Those bulbs will then rest all winter, and maybe next spring, or the following year, they will begin to brighten our property with rich and colorful beauty. In the spring when our liturgy focuses us on death and preparing for the tomb, the seeds of resurrection will begin to break through in our midst. Our grounds will shape our hope in the Easter truth.
November 17 will be our Consecration Sunday, the day our church members formally turn in their 2020 pledge cards. Our pledges are a faithful act of stewardship, of recognizing that all we have is a gift from God, and our pledge is responding to that gift by being intentional in how we share and allocate our resources. On November 17 at each service, our congregation will have the opportunity to turn in their pledge cards, or a card saying a pledge has been submitted online, when an offering plate is being passed around. After each service, the community will be invited to a celebration meal and then be given daffodil bulbs to plant on our grounds.
Learning to give is a lifelong process which impacts the church immediately but has a much deeper long-term effect on our own spiritual lives. It is like planting a daffodil bulb in the fall. Much later -months, years, and a lifetime down the road, we learn to be more faithful, to be more giving, to use all that we have to usher in the Kingdom of God. It is not something that happens in a single act on Sunday morning, or from writing a check one time. Our gifts are a tool to dig and plant, to begin to nurture our own capacity to steward our resources to help the Kingdom of God here on earth be made manifest. Pledge cards will be found in the pews on November 17 or you can make a pledge online here. The website and cards have a helpful guide to proportional giving. This is a tool in helping you grow in your faith and your walk with our Lord. While your gift certainly helps the church, it is even more important in helping you learn to be more hopeful, by being more open to helping, sharing, giving, and filling the world with the Grace of our Lord Jesus that has been shared with you.
I hope you will give proportionately of your treasure this coming year, not only because it is a statement of belonging, but more importantly, to help you continue to plant seeds of hopefulness and beauty in our home here on earth. I look forward to joining you on Sunday, November 17 for our Consecration Sunday, the festive meals that will follow each service, and planting what will brighten our grounds for years to come.
The Rev. John B. Burrruss