The 2021 Stewardship logo states “growing your faith through generosity.”
What do those words mean to you?”
How would you explain that principle to a non-church member?
As one reflects on the meaning of faith from Hebrews 11:1, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” we cannot help but discover that God’s gift of faith is a guiding gift for our spiritual journey. Faithful living means that we trust that God is moving in and through our lives in such a way that he guides our actions and decisions. Sometimes we get off course and our faith seems to get side tracked or on unstable footing. But God is always there to guide us if we seek His will. One way our faith can be nurtured and grow stronger is through practicing generosity. Generosity challenges us to step out of our comfort zone and act on the faith that God has given us. Being generous in all circumstances of our life increases our faith in God. We step out bolder and more courageous each time we trust that God is directing our actions and intentions. When we are generous, we faithfully try to meet the needs of others.
St David’s has been faithful to God and that has led us to step out in generosity to others. The only way that the Church can continue our faithful service inside and outside our walls is for each of us to generously give back to God what He has already given to us. Faithful Stewardship encompasses all aspects of our life, both spiritually and materially. Managing and freely giving of our time, talents and treasures is one way that God directs our faith path. Stewardship grows our faith through generosity.
Submitted by La Nora Holcombe
The following article by LaNora Holcombe appeared in the July - August Central Florida Episcopalian
Thoughts From The Stewardship Committee
A few Sunday’s ago, I was really taken by Fr Porter’s observation of St. David’s as a family. After all, we worship together, walk together in love, and do what we can to better the lives of our neighbors, our community, and the least fortunate – both spiritually and materially, just as we do with our families at home. At home, we all have to manage a household budget, not so much because it is an end unto itself, but rather because it is through proper household management that we are able to carry on with our other goals in family life. With so much change going on and our excitement in moving forward together, now might be good time for us to reacquaint ourselves with our parish resources, commitments, and all of the wonderous work we are doing through our Outreach programs. It is through this awareness that we can become better stewards of all that God has entrusted us with. It is through our financial support of the church that she can not only maintain but grow in spreading the gospel and love of Christ.
Stewardship is the art of serving – a way of living.
As we have endured the past seven months, the strength of St. David’s community has strongly underscored “the art of serving”. As our motto states, we are Joined by Faith; Living in the Spirit’ and Serving in Love.
I wish to share with you a profound statement by John Bunyan, who was an English writer and Puritan preacher in the 1600’s.
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
Thank you for continuing your support to St. David’s during these unprecedented times. You are serving your fellow parishioners and our community. Each and every one of us aggregates to something greater and is an amazing, positive force that shows the love of Christ through sharing our gifts of time, talent and treasure.
While considering what to write for April’s stewardship message, I was struck by a piece of wisdom from the airline industry - If the air masks drop down, please fit the mask over your face before trying to assist others. In other words, being good Stewards of what God has given us means we must also take care of ourselves. While we all need to be reaching out to our friends and neighbors, we also need to take care of ourselves and our households. While we are a people of faith, that does not make us immune to stress. With the uncertainty and fear in the current environment, this stress can shorten our tempers, erode our respect for each other, and reduce our common courtesy. This is greatly exacerbated by the need to stay in close quarters with our loved ones for extended periods of time. Unfortunately, I have no suggestion of how to deal with this situation, but thankfully Paul does, when he reminds us:
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Over the last 20 years we have seen drastic changes in our world. From September 11th, to the ongoing war on terror and most recently Covid-19. We have had to adapt to each and every situation and we will continue to do so as a unified nation under God’s guidance. As Christians we always have a personal responsibility to God and our community. Our relationship to God encompasses Stewardship and can be lived out in multiple ways:
1) We need to pray individually
2) We need to communicate God’s wisdom with others
3) We need to volunteer and assist the church in multiple ways: including cleaning after each service, assisting in the office, joining in outreach efforts, and the list goes on.
4) We need to keep up with our pledges as the church still has financial needs and responsibilities.
As we have lived through the last few months with Covid-19, it has been brutal.
In re-opening St. David’s there will be additional needs. We will undoubtedly be focused on cleaning and the most efficient and effective cost to safeguard our most blessed resource, our parishioners.
God Bless each and every person, country and the world.
THE START OF A NEW YEAR is both an opportunity to be reflective, and an opportunity to envision new goals. As we begin 2020, I hope we will all experience a revival of our love for our church and enhance our own spiritual journey. This is the perfect time to rededicate ourselves to using our Time, Talent and Treasure to better our church, our community and the world.
The holidays have passed and many of our New Year’s resolutions have long been forgotten. Now, the season of Lent is upon us. It’s our time to reflect on those things that bring us closer to God and others, and those things that keep us apart from God and others. Is God calling you to give Him more of your time through prayer and service? Are there opportunities for you to use your talents at St. David’s? What better way to draw closer to God than to give Him more of your time, talents and treasures. Make stewardship a part of your Lenten season. Stewardship is a way of life, but it is also a season and it lasts all year.
MEANINGFUL GIVING: A wise person once told me that the number one reason why donors stop giving is that they stop thinking they (or their gift} do not matter to the organization. I can say without reservation, that is not the case with St. David’s Church. In fact, it is your personal donations that have allowed St. David’s to build this church into an impactful peer-to-peer congregation currently impacting the lives of many people inside and outside the church. A recent award from the Sheriff’s Foundation to this church reflects this good will and charitable giving. Please continue to pledge to support the church activities and donate to support this ongoing effort. Your pledge and outreach giving makes a difference.
STEWARDSHIP IS A WAY OF LIVING: What does that mean to you?
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms”. 1 Peter 4:10. Many of us hear the word Stewardship and think, money. That is a very important part of our stewardship life and we definitely can’t keep the doors open at St. David’s if we don’t give financially to the church. What each of us can’t forget is that stewardship is about so much more than money. It is about our spiritual lives: using our time wisely, loving and reaching out to others, taking care of our environment, using the gifts God has given us, sharing the love of Christ with others and participating in the life of the church.