Heaven’s Door

Stewardship Reflection, Sunday, November 10, 2019

By: Geoff Simril

Recently in Church, we sang the hymn, “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God.” I love that hymn. The first verse follows the title line with, “and all these things shall be added unto you.”

I realize more and more how all the things that have been “added unto me” have come from God. My parents, my education, my wife, my children, my friends, my health, and my opportunities for work–I have not deserved any of these. They are truly gifts.
Stewardship is just giving back a small portion of what God has given us, through our money and our time. The money is easy for us; it’s the only check that Patsy and I write that gives us joy. The time is easy for me, too, because when I volunteer at St. Mary’s, I receive more than I give.

From our first visit four years ago, St. Mary’s has been warm and welcoming. Our congregation really feels like a fellowship. If you have any interest in volunteering, the committees and staff will welcome you with a full embrace. There is so much we can do: teaching Sunday School, helping with the beautiful grounds, serving at breakfast or dinner, etc. Try ushering with your children; it feels wonderful to serve together, and it gives them something meaningful to do. When I first did this 11 years ago, my 8-year old son started paying attention to the service!

Lately, the two most rewarding activities for me have been helping to cook breakfast and serving as a Lay Eucharistic Minister. One gives me the joy of fellowship and the other, the joy of the liturgy. I can’t adequately describe how much fun it is to be in the kitchen early on Sunday morning working with others to put on a breakfast feast that you know will be appreciated—creating and giving and dining together. And, if your mind ever wanders in church as mine sometimes does, try serving as a LEM. From the altar, the service comes alive in vivid color, and you’ll appreciate every word that’s spoken. As 13-year-old acolyte Lucy Hagan said recently, “I feel more connected.”

Please pledge all that you can, and volunteer as much as you can. St. Mary’s needs us to do both. I’m happy to give and to serve because I need St. Mary’s.

The second verse of “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God” includes these words: “knock and it shall be opened unto you.” I don’t know what the Kingdom of God actually looks like. But I’m positive its front door is at St. Mary’s and it’s open unto you.