Stewardship Reflection, Sunday, October 18, 2020
By: Wayne Dementi, Stewardship Chair & Vestry Member
Very early in my time as Chair of Stewardship for this year, I shared with David the observation that the Stewardship Campaign for 2021 would be like no other due to the pandemic. Clearly, these extraordinary times call for an extraordinary response.
David offered an insight to me that gave life and direction to how we might approach our work together. He suggested that we consider this year’s effort as a ministry, versus a campaign. I thought a lot about this. I found this definition of ministry – a willful, gift-oriented, and calling-based use of one’s ability to serve others.
“One’s ability” seems to address the works of both the individual and the body of the church. In September, we held ZOOM gatherings for 15 of our ministries. We launched this series of meetings under the theme, “Lord, May the Words We Hear be Your Words.” We learned that indeed we heard the Lord’s words. Now, as we move into our season of Stewardship, the theme, “Lord, May the Work We Do Be Your Work” guides us.
God seems to be calling us to engage our gifts to do those things which will bring us through this period to a new and exciting era of worship, fellowship, education, and outreach to the world. This time, like no other, offers us a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to bring the Holy Spirit even further into our lives. It also brings to our attention a call to help others in our church family and in our neighborhood. In the past, a pledge has been a relatively routine affirmation of the work and growth of the church. This year, a pledge affirms the optimism we share for decisions that will bring us ever closer to a parish life that God wishes for us.
During our parish-wide webinars, Seth Schaeffer, our Senior Warden, offered the observation that, “we are what we do,” in recognition of the work being done by our 17 ministries. Our ZOOM meetings revealed that so much wonderful work that has taken place over the past six months has gone relatively unnoticed due to the impact of COVID’s isolation. Our ministries have done so much good work and their visions hold great promise for the future. Our vestry is encouraging each ministry to listen for God’s call as they change and grow. We want to assure them that we have funding to support their vision and ministry.
It is a good time to see your pledge go to work. As we celebrate God’s work at St. Mary’s, we hope you will join us by making a pledge by Sunday, November 15.