A Message from Stephen Duerst, Stewardship Vestry Liaison
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ… In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.1 Peter 1:3, 6-7
A Message from Fr. John Spicer, Rector
Thank you, thank you, thank you! That’s the first and most important thing I need to say, as we start the fall of this strangest year we’ve ever known. Through the end of August, St. Andrew’s members have given more financially than our pre-pandemic budget predicted. I doubt many churches can say that. Well, I will say this: I’m tremendously blessed to be with you, and I’m so grateful for your commitment to God and God’s work here.
Strangely enough, I’ve found myself more grateful, not less, over these past six months. I’m blessed to serve among leaders who’ve stepped up to check on parishioners and hung together in divisive times. I’m blessed to serve among staff whose flexibility and perseverance has meant we could even offer new connections, classes, and prayer opportunities, rather than cutting back. I’m blessed to serve among givers who’ve gone above and beyond the call in financial and hands-on support. This time of pandemic and protest has let me see God at work in you.
I know I’m not alone. Recently, we asked members to reflect on how COVID and social change have affected them, how their relationship with God has changed, and what insights they’re taking into the new normal; and many reflected this theme of growing gratitude. At the same time, these six months have also tested us. Several members described the isolation, fear, and sadness their friends and fellow parishioners have felt. But they aren’t stopping there. This is a time when we’ve come to hear God’s voice in a phone call or see God’s hand in the gift of a BLT sandwich. When the world makes us alone and afraid, our faith and our faith family give us hope.
That’s the theme for this year’s stewardship season – Living Hope. Over the coming weeks — in person, in writing, and on video – you’ll hear other members share their journeys through this rough time, journeys that always lead us home, to God on whom all our hope is founded.
In gratitude for God’s gift of “a new birth into a living hope” (1 Peter 1:3), I’m asking all our members to consider joining me in making a pledge of support for God’s work here in 2021. That’s one of our goals for this year: 100 percent participation. I’m so grateful that you’ve become part of the St. Andrew’s family, and your giving already helps to make possible the ministry that happens every day – the calls to check in, the daily 8-1-8 Prayers, the pastoral contacts, the connection with newcomers, the loving service to our neighbors – as well as keeping God’s beautiful house in good order. But making a pledge of that support marks your commitment to God in an outward and visible way. Literally, a pledge can be for any amount, and every gift matters.
In a time of divisiveness and uncertainty, the Church has a greater call than ever. Although a virus keeps us distant – maybe because a virus keeps us distant – our need to connect with God and each other only deepens. And your generosity is what makes ministry happen here. See the FAQs for more information.
Thank you so much for your faithfulness in following Jesus’ path – reading the Bible, saying your prayers, and coming to worship, whether in person or online – and for the generosity your faithfulness inspires. Although we can’t see what lies ahead, we will get through the coming uncertain months together, living hope day by day.
What You Need to Know About Stewardship
Read about the meaning of stewardship, frequently asked questions, and where the money goes.
Read stories about how recent events touched the lives of the people of St. Andrew’s. Sharing these can help us all realize that we are in this together as a church community. The upcoming profiles will be answering the following questions:
- What did you struggle with during your initial reaction to the events occurring in the world today?
- How did your relationship with God change during the first half of 2020?
- How, individually, did you change during these various events?
- How are you going to take what you learned and apply it in the new normal?
Share your own story! We’d love to hear about your experience.
- Ashley Pindell
- Susan Paynter (Coming soon!)
Stewardship Witnesses – Coming Soon!
Stay tuned for special witness accounts from St. Andrew’s parishioners about hope.