My husband Woody and I joined St. Luke’s about 20 years ago. I am currently a member of the Vestry as well as the team leader for the Search Committee. A bit about my background: I am a native Coloradoan who was born into and raised as an Episcopalian. However, I must confess that I was not a “practicing” Episcopalian for all those years. I got off the Church Bus in the while in college, took a detour in my twenties and early thirties, and then got back onto the bus when we had children. Admittedly I am pretty much of a traditionalist when it comes to practicing my faith.
Well enough about me and onto the subject at hand. Why Woody and I make our pledge:
I recently read a wonderful definition of Stewardship written by an individual that I would like to quote. “Stewardship is the manifestation of our love for God; through prayer and worship, acts of service, and giving of our time, talent and resources”. By this definition it got me to think about stewardship in a much broader term and it is clearly more than just giving money. However, when the annual stewardship campaign begins, stewardship often conjures up thoughts of obligation and our focus turns to on the budget and financial resources necessary to take care of our facilities, pay our staff, support our various committee needs etc. Yes, this is indeed where the money goes but for Woody and myself, this is not the primary reason that we make our pledge.
To us, church is about the people – about all of you. We are pledging to be a part of and support this community. We want to be connected to a community that is committed to serving God and each other as well as being welcoming, warm, fun loving, accepting of our idiosyncrasies.
Yes, our facilities provide us a place to come together and our staff provides us direction and organization but as we have all experienced, rectors and parish administrators can transition out of their roles and having read about the recent natural disasters one quickly realizes that a structure can be devastated in a matter of minutes.
We are all sitting here today despite the SLC has undergone. And, if something, God forbid, happened to this beautiful structure, I believe that our community would come together and continue to persevere through whatever challenges might come our way.
So, for us-you are the Church. Each of you individually and collectively are the reason that we make and honor our pledge each year.