Stewardship Reflection, Sunday, October 20, 2019
By: Harry Baldwin
Home is a comforting and peaceful place after returning from a trip. There is a deep sense of serenity and solace gained by being among familiar belongings. Home is a place where we can be ourselves, and be loved, respected, and cared for by those who mean the most to us.
My wife, Jeannie, and I returned home to Richmond after being in Alexandria for twelve years. We sought and found a new home to house our cherished items, to get a great night’s sleep, and to share good times with family and friends. We also sought a new church, a new parish home. It was logical to check out St. Mary’s and we soon knew we had found our church home.
St. Mary’s meets precisely our needs – to be ourselves among fellow parishioners, to be loved, respected and cared for by clergy and lay members. We come to be fed weekly at God’s table with divine nourishment, to be forgiven as only God can do, and to be with family. We are very comfortable and at peace in our St. Mary’s home.
The campus and church buildings are beautiful and meet the needs of young and old alike. What really makes St. Mary’s the wonderful, peaceful, and comforting home is the living presence of the Holy Spirit. God is exceptionally good to me, to Jeannie, to each of us. Everything I have, possess, and need is provided by God. I owe all to him.
Stewardship time is an opportunity to reflect and respond to God’s generosity and kindness. This opportunity affords us the specific time to evaluate what time, talents, and treasures can be returned to God. Like every other home, there are expenses of brick and mortar as well as personal needs. Clergy and staff must be compensated for their compassionate work. Most importantly, we want – not need – to show God our sincere gratitude for everything he has given to us. I personally receive far more from God in my parish home than I could ever give.
The biblical guidance for our stewardship effort this year is “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I ask you to consider how much our St. Mary’s church home means to you and to share your time, talents, and financial gifts for God’s work in this place. I urge you to increase your pledge or to give for the first time. To continue to invest in St. Mary’s will enhance the place where we are loved, respected, and cared for by God, fellow parishioners and staff. May the Holy Spirit continue to grace and bless our St. Mary’s home.