The Blessings of Our Community

Weekly Reflection, Sunday, September 23, 2018

By: Karen and Mike Huennekens, Stewardship Committee co-chairs

Being blessed can mean many things to many people, taking on distinct forms and manifesting in ways both obvious and subtle. This ranges from good fortune you can point to as a concrete boon to the intangible feeling of wellbeing on the first day of spring as the first warming rays of sunshine after a long winter envelop you. How do you count your blessings?

We are feeling blessed to have just celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary. We, like many of you, can’t believe where the time has gone; years of carpool pickup and summer camps fading into a new normal as empty nesters living in an all too quiet house. We are talking about our next steps, future plans, and retirement – all things that seemed scary and foreboding at one time, but that we now take as evidence of our good fortune – the manifestation of all our blessings, small and large, and the days that seemed never ending among years that passed quicker than we could ever have imagined.

But through all of these conversations, we always reflect on how blessed our lives have been. God has been abundantly present in our lives and helped us along the way, whether it was evident at the time or not. Through the good and the bad, we have found ourselves giving thanks for the life we have led – not every minute, not every day, but always in the end, whether it be through the reminder of a sermon or in the beauty of a rainbow after a summer storm.

As we count our blessings, we are reminded of the ‘pay it forward’ movement that transpired some years ago; the charge of realizing a blessing and taking action to share it with someone else. Tithing is a bit like paying it forward. It is recognizing your blessings and responding by making a gift to allow God’s work to continue.

St. Mary’s has given us the blessings of community, faith, tradition, and spiritual growth. When we were asked to chair the 2019 stewardship effort, we reflected on our blessings and desire to use this opportunity to be our own way of saying “thanks be to God.” Like you, we want to see our church prosper in ministries and outreach in our community. If all participated, imagine the potential that lies ahead for St. Mary’s, bringing all into God’s light and leaving none in the shadows. As we enter this next phase for St. Mary’s, let’s work together to strengthen the pillars our predecessors created. We celebrate God’s work at St. Mary’s and hope you will join us by making a pledge by Sunday, November 18. Together we can witness the blessing of God in our lives. As Helen Keller said, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”