November 5, 2019
Dear St. Andrew’s Community,
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our long season of Pentecost is coming to an end. Soon the season of Advent will be upon us with the celebration of Christ’s birth culminating the experience. Halloween has just ended. Retailers are already announcing that they will be open on Thanksgiving Day. Forget about waiting for the anticipated “Black Friday” sales, they are encouraging us not to wait, but to hurry in for the pre-“Black Friday” sales going on now. Then of course we have “Cyber Monday” immediately following that. Things to me continue to get rushed and run their course too soon.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves we need to remember that right now is the time we look ahead at things for the coming year at St. Andrew’s. We are grateful to the Finance Committee as they do an outstanding job of not only managing the financial affairs of our parish, but in addition making wise investments for us as well.
We also recognize the efforts of our Wardens and Vestry who have been working hard to keep things moving these many months. Your love and dedication to St. Andrew’s has not gone unnoticed. Thank you all.
Christian stewardship is defined as the grateful, joyful, and responsible use of God’s gifts to do the work God has given us to do as revealed in Jesus Christ. We as Christian stewards empowered by the Holy Spirit, commit ourselves to conscious, purposeful decisions about the use of God’s gifts.
In both the Old and New Testaments we learn about tithing and what God is asking us to do and of course what God promises us when we do give.
Proverbs 3:5-10 says–Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be a healing for your flesh and a refreshment for your body. Honor the Lord with your substanceand with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Luke 6:36-38 says–Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.‘Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.’
If you have never tithed it may seem like an unreachable goal. It is not however, and you will continually be surprised and blessed as you make your way toward it. In this mailing, you received a chart that shows you where you are in terms of your current giving and what it looks like as you set goals to get to that tithe.
The letter of James 1:22-25 says— But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, ongoing away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act – they will be blessed in their doing.
We also ask that you pray about giving of your time and talent, however you may feel called. There are many opportunities within our Parish community and the community at large. Please consider how you would like to become involved. Prayerfully consider what God is calling you to be involved with in the coming year.
Please take the time to fill out the attached confidential Pledge Sheet for 2020. Please bring it with you on our Celebration Sunday, which is November 24th.We will bless our pledges and then celebrate with our parish community over a catered brunch after the 10am service in the parish hall.
If for any unfortunate reason you are unable to attend this exciting and anticipated celebration in the life of St. Andrew’s community, please mail back the Pledge Sheet for 2020 so it may be included on November 24th.
May God continue to bless you and St. Andrew’s abundantly,