Love With Us … Stewardship 2024
Just about a year ago, we invited each other to share “five things” others might not otherwise know: our favorite activities, beloved others, an experience of growth, a favorite scripture passage, our own versions of the “good news” of Jesus Christ. One especially brief summary of the good news struck me on a first reading and has continued to resonate this year as I pray about our common life:
Love with us.
Love with us. When read as a noun, “love” expresses God’s Word of love made flesh in Jesus and persisting in the power of the Spirit: walking with us, comforting us, strengthening us, guiding us. When read as a verb, “love” expresses a way of living into which God invites us daily: a shared goal of blessing other people’s lives.
“Us” expresses not the rugged individuality our wider culture teaches, but an understanding that our lives and futures are intertwined.
“It’s about people,” observed a vestry member this past spring while we were hearing an update from our outreach ministry co-chairs. We had just been reviewing the roster of 30+ not-for-profit organizations – largely here on the Cape – receiving cash grants from us annually to serve those living near or on the margins: folks squeezed by the housing shortage, young families and teens at risk, the spouses and children of incarcerated people, people contending with addictions, and other people fleeing domestic violence to cite just a few. Our Free Shop (turning 50 this year) and our Food for Kids summer feeding program (11 summers!) clothe and feed hundreds each year.
As we begin a new season together, I ask you to consider with me other lives we, as Church, are called to bless:
- Staff: music, daily maintenance of our church property, and weekly administration are ministries of our church as well. I’m blessed with colleagues who love their work and care deeply for our community. We’d like to pay them more. We pray that those who will eventually follow them will also be compensated equitably as the cost of living on the Cape increases.
- Future parishioners: Thanks largely to generous bequests, we have been gifted with a carefully managed endowment of approximately $5 million dollars. Our current annual draw upon these funds, however – approximately 7% – is more than our fair share and not sustainable. Our care for those who will succeed us means reducing dependence upon these savings. We’ll be exploring a formal planned giving program in the time to come, and also invite you to pray about our future as you consider your annual pledge.
Perhaps you are not currently pledging or have never pledged before. You’re not alone! Please don’t misunderstand the nature of our invitation to you now. Many who do not pledge do support our ministries through gifts or regular plate donations. Your presence among us and your prayers are sustaining support as well.
If you choose to pledge this year, you will be doing something that’s also important: your statement of commitment will help us plan and manage the coming twelve months more effectively and responsibly. Your pledge will increase the total number of new pledgers among us – always a reason to rejoice! Start small if need be. Your pledged support of any amount is what counts.
Pledges, like prayers, are gifts we give each other and to God. Your pledge is “love with us.” And if we all do what we can, we will have everything we need.
With my prayers and thanks,
Rev. Patrick C. Ward
The Church of the Holy Spirit (Episcopal)
To help you help us we are offering and encouraging something new for us: ONLINE GIVING.
Simply click on the GIVE NOW button and you will be taken to a secure website to make your donation to The Church of the Holy Spirit. Give it a try! Would you like more help? Find specific Step-by-Step Instructions here and answers to Frequently Asked Questions here.