All Saints Messenger - December 8, 2016

posted Dec 8, 2016, 7:19 AM by Church Secretary   [ updated Dec 8, 2016, 7:22 AM ]

 

Greetings in the Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

I wrote a few weeks ago about how we spend our money and how we make decisions about where it goes. I highlighted the fact that Jesus speaks about money in one out of every seven verses in the Gospel of Luke and that 16-19 of Jesus' 39 parables speak about money.

This past Sunday was our "Ingathering Pledge Card Event" and so I spoke about money again (No, I don't think I am Jesus, but the topic is applicable to us today in very real ways). I shared with those who were here last Sunday that our wallets and pocketbooks are the single biggest thing that gets in the way between our hearts and God.

Next, I let everyone know that I was "Guilty AS Charged" because I have struggled mightily with giving out of my abundance for a long time. I am happy to share that the scarcity thinking of my past has been replaced with a real appreciation and understanding of the abundance that I have and that we all have here in this corner of God's Kingdom.

This week we are hosting families who have no place to lay their heads through the "Family Promise" program. We provide warm beds, hot showers, food, a safe place to stay and we even have a "homework helper" who helps the children with their studies. It is one of the wonderful ways All Saints embody being stewards (read Stewardship) to our world.

Stewardship involves our whole being, all that we are. We give generously and joyously all of our selves and souls and bodies as our Prayer Book reminds us.  We are called to be joyful givers and one can be a joyful giver only when we are giving out of our abundance and not reluctantly or forcefully out of our scarcity.

On Sunday, I shared the story of a friend of mine who tells this story, "Years ago, we started letting friends come to our house to pick out their wedding gift." They could walk around our house and pick anything that they wanted. Yes, being that generous and vulnerable cost us some of our favorite paintings, a couple of wonderful pieces of pottery, a few pieces of furniture, etc., but the joy that comes from sharing something that will continue to give joy and demonstrate generosity is incomparable.

I believe this is a wonderful example of giving and I share it with you as we try and complete our Annual Stewardship/Giving Campaign for 2017. We have received about 50% of expected pledge cards. If you have not filled out and turned in your card I hope you will do so this Sunday.

All Saints relies on your being generous out of your abundance. As the above story about the families we help through Family Promise show us, All Saints exists to transform lives, not ours only, but those in our community and world as well
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We are called to give out of our abundance, out of our "First Fruits." Jesus gave much for us, can we afford to do anything less?

See ya Sunday!

Blessings
Fr. Gary+
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