A Weekly Stewardship Reflection, Sunday, October 1, 2017
By: Doug Pera
“The value of a man resides in what he gives and not in what he is capable of receiving.” — Albert Einstein
I have the honor of sharing a few thoughts on why St Mary’s holds such a special place in my life and the life of my family. As I was considering church options a few years ago, I landed at St. Mary’s due the influence and suggestion of my wife, Jane. It did not take me long to determine that St Mary’s was a good fit for me and what I needed from a church family. The warm and welcoming environment was immediately evident and my comfort within the church continued to grow as I met more parishioners, became more involved, and was able to spend time with the leadership of the church.
Additionally, I felt there was a feeling of acceptance and understanding of various points of view. I knew then, and it is only more relevant now, the ability to openly discuss one’s views in a loving environment is often missing in today’s institutions. At St. Mary’s I feel that I can have a view and while not everyone agrees with it, there is a respect and openness to hearing a different viewpoint.
While all the characteristics mentioned above still apply, I have also developed an appreciation for the value that St. Mary’s provides to my family. I feel that I have grown in my relationship with God but also have seen my family’s growth as well. Jane, Gray, and Lucie have all invested time and energy into their relationship with St. Mary’s, and have benefited in ways too many to explain. The children’s program has created a buzz and excitement that is palpable when you walk in on Sundays. Jane has been incredibly impactful in so many areas of the church but she would tell you that she has been the beneficiary of her activities at St Mary’s.
The value of St. Mary’s to me and my family has been too great to measure in terms of monetary value. However, I understand the need to do everything that I can to help by investing my time, talent, and treasure to ensure the continued growth of programs and energetic staff, and maintain the fantastic physical facility that we all enjoy. We need your help during this pledge season.