November 2019 Newsletter (PDF)

From the Interim Priest: Talking about Money

The one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 1 Corinthians 9:6-7

This is the season that churches are talking about money. Vestries and councils, clergy and laity are planning for the coming year and a part of that is figuring out how to pay for everything.

Here at St Stephen’s we are moving more deliberately than in the past, We have come to realize that if we just continue to do everything as in the past, we will run out of funds. Some of this is because the new Rector will cost more, largely because of health insurance. Some of this is caused by paying off our building loan which has reduced our endowment. We are also dealing with the fact that everything costs a little more. The Vestry and the Stewardship Committee are working very hard to find ways to increase income for next year including increasing pledge income, fundraising and possible rental income. You will be hearing more about all of this in the coming weeks.

I am writing this to challenge all of us to find ways to talk about money. Jesus is constantly talking about money. Saint Paul, in the passage from 2 Corinthians above is part of a two chapter (8 & 9) appeal for the Corinthians to raise funds to support the Christians in Jerusalem.

Paul knew it was a difficult asks. He had a rocky relationship with the Corinthians. It was to the point that he did not want to visit in person because he did not want to stir up animosities. None-the-less, he knew that they had to talk about money.
Paul’s boldness comes out of his deep faith and trust in the saving grace of Jesus Christ. He knew that the Corinthians also had that deep faith and trust. Paul urges them to consider their abundance and to give generously. He did so knowing that while some individuals were very poor, the community as a whole had been blessed in many ways.

St. Stephen’s is getting close to calling a new Rector and beginning a new chapter in our life in Christ. I encourage all of us to talk with each other about our blessings and abundance. Please remember this as you pledge to support St. Stephen’s in 2020.

Blessing and Peace,