October 2021 Newsletter (PDF)
A Message from Reverend Greg
This month signals the full approach of Fall! It is coming and we cannot do anything about it. For some, it is warmly welcomed after a hot Summer; for others, it is not. Be that as it may, it is upon us.
This process reminds me of the great day of Pentecost. Those gathered in the Upper Room could do nothing to stop the Holy Spirit from landing upon them. Tongues of fire held them in a firm hold and they marveled at the many languages being spoken, yet, they could all understand one another.
In many ways, St. Stephen’s is very much like that: we are all diverse in our own ways, yet we belong to one family of faith. We gather each Sunday to amass the prayers of each of us so that as one community, we can lay them before the throne of God.
During the month of October, you will hear me speak of stewardship and the need for each of us who claims St. Stephen’s as our spiritual home, to give of our time, talent and treasure. When we all do this as one family of faith, we recognize and celebrate each other. This becomes part of our spiritual practice. Stewardship is a spiritual practice executed out of deep and unshakable gratitude for all that God gives us.
John Wesley was an English clergyman, theologian, and evangelist, who was a leader of a revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism. It is believed that Wesley once said this: “Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can.” This is truly a spiritual practice, and it is clearly stewardship.
God’s love for us, and God’s care for us is much like Fall. We cannot stop it from happening. It falls upon us like leaves falling on our heads! We cannot refute it: God loves us and cares for each of us. What a tremendous gift that is, and when someone gives us a gift, the custom is to say, “Thank you.” Our practice of stewardship is our way of saying, “Thank you” to God. It is also our way of acknowledging that even if we tried to stop God from showering us with loving care, we would not succeed.