A message from the Rector’s Warden
Dear fellow parishioner,
This year’s Stewardship Sunday is November 13, 2016. Stewardship is usually thought of as a pledge campaign – a yearly event asking you to commit money toward the church’s upcoming budget. It’s the reason we have a “Stewardship Sunday!” It’s true… we have property to maintain, staff to pay, ministries to sustain, and a community to support. All of these things require money. But stewardship is a much more than budgeting to make the payroll and keep the lights on. It’s about caring for God’s creation in every way to ensure justice and peace in our world. It’s about demonstrating and celebrating what we do in service to each other, to our community, and to God. These things we do throughout the year. Let us consider stewardship as our ongoing responsibility to actively support all that is Saint James, through whatever blessings bestowed upon us by God.
As you consider giving your money and talents to Saint James in the coming year, here is a story from one of your fellow parishioners on what stewardship means for her:
Martha’s Story: Our commitment of financial pledge and service to St. James Church is mainly of thankfulness to the great congregation – their welcome message to everyone! About 11 years ago, when our other Episcopalian church was closed due to declining parishioners, we tried and attended different churches in the area for a while. Then, we found a “home” in St. James Langhorne! Alexa, our 11 year old daughter at that time, immediately fit in the youth group activities and Christian education, was prepared for Confirmation, and had a beautiful confirmation ceremony that we cherish as one of our happiest family memory to these days! Different members activities at St. James reward the soul, the spirit, and the body to make us a stronger Christian every day in our mundane daily routines. Another beautiful family memory at St James to share is the “renewal of marriage vows on Valentine’s day” group ceremony in February 2009. My husband, Doug and I rejoiced – the ceremony, led by Rev. Kelly, is one of our ever-life best moments as married couple…. the blessings of God over my family are felt and lived through St James Church and its beautiful fellowship. It is for this that we pledge on this day our share of financial resource and service to St. James. – Martha J. Murdock
In addition to Martha, you may hear from other parishioners who share their stewardship story during services. Reflect on these stories and ask what stewardship means to you as well as why you should continue to give – or start giving – to Saint James. Dedicate some time to review your finances and consider your financial pledge for 2017. Resources to help you plan your financial stewardship:
- Stewardship, Tithing, Giving, Annual Pledge: Defined (www.ecfvp.org/files/uploads/Definitions_Stewardship_and_Giving_changes_accepted.pdf)
- Why I Give (www.ecfvp.org/posts/why-i-give)
- The 2% Campaign (www.ecfvp.org/vestrypapers/rethinking-stewardship/the-2-campaign/)
- Giving Worksheet (www.ecfvp.org/files/uploads/Giving_Worksheet_-_English_2.pdf)
If you are unable to provide financial support or want to do more than pledge money, consider how to continue giving – or start giving – of your time and talent to our parish. There are a variety of ways to serve including: assisting with worship services, maintaining the church grounds, preparing or serving soup for the hungry, and much more. For ideas on how you can get involved, see the Ministries section of our website (www.stjameslanghorne.org/ministries) or speak with a vestry member to learn more.
It takes our combined gifts and talents to sustain the physical and spiritual elements that make Saint James a welcoming place for worship and fellowship and a community in service to God and and our fellow man. Please do what you can to be a steward of our parish. Thank you in advance for your consideration and generosity to Saint James.