Spiritual practice. Gratitude. Thanks be to God.

A Weekly Stewardship Reflection, Sunday, October 28, 2018

By: Wayne Dementi

Spiritual practice and gratitude go together. This idea of embracing spiritual practice as a way of life has emerged in my consciousness over the past year or two – compliments of our clergy. As I engage in the spiritual practice of making myself think more about what I’m hearing and experience at St. Mary’s, my daily routine is hugely enriched.

Each week, at a minimum, I benefit from the following: the words offered by David and Bob in their wonderful sermons; the adult forum lessons from David and, most recently, Ben Campbell; the Men’s Spiritual Practice on Tuesday mornings; and other habits such as thoughtfully reading The Annunciation reflections.

The sermons call me to listen harder, think more, and be grateful. I have heard our clergy encourage me to weave these musings into my faith. For example, we heard David speak of one of his spiritual practices of envisioning those around him as their innocent 3-year old selves. Try that. It’s cool. I love challenging myself to Bob Hetherington’s solicitation to God as he prays for his sermon, “may the words we hear be your words”.

This next sentence is written in gratitude to Bob. I want him to know that I am working hard at showing up which is pretty easy, paying attention which is a little harder, and leaning in which is a lot like real work.

And this is a special mention of the Men’s Spiritual Practice group. I realize what you are about to read falls into the category of “you have to be there to understand it.” But we have been together for close to two years now. To study the Gospel with these friends has brought a new perspective to the wonder of spiritual practice. It’s a true blessing.

Dianne and I are so grateful for what is happening for us and our faith at St. Mary’s.

When I received the invitation to serve on the Stewardship Committee, my first reaction was “who – me?” Then I heard David May offer his theology for stewardship. Pledging should be faith based. We should each consider stewardship as a spiritual practice, with our personal decision being driven by a sense of gratitude to God. Dianne and I were thus empowered to pledge with confidence and gratitude.

Spiritual practice. Gratitude. Thanks be to God.