Monday, November 23, 2009

Sometimes it is best to get out of the way, part 3

The final installment of our stewardship talks. This was actually the first...and in my eyes set the tone and the shape of the talks that came after. I continue to give thanks for the spirit, determination and grace the people of Trinity offer up to God! Here follows the text:

Last June I presented everyone with a status report on our financial situation. At the time, our stewardship pledges we were running 30% below budget. Thanks to the excellent response from all of you, over the last four months, we have slowly chipped away at the 30% deficit. As of the end of Sep, we are up to 79% of budget. So, a great big thanks to all of you and a request that you continue to do your best to keep it going for the rest of the year.
As Fr. Shelly mentioned, several people will be talking about Stewardship over the next few weeks. This morning, I want to briefly touch on two topics

1st , what Stewardship means to me and 2nd, what the Warden’s and vestry are asking of our congregation.

You may be familiar with the expression that there are three kinds of people in this world: Those that make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened. We’ve all heard that Stewardship is the time, talents and financial support we bring to this assembly. So, in a sense, stewardship calls all of us to be people who make things happen, not for ourselves but for the glory of God.

There are many scriptures that are often quoted when asking a congregation for their financial support. But I’m not going to do that this morning. Rather, I’d like to tell you about a personal philosophy I have lived by for over 25 years. It’s not from the bible or a book written by some self help guru. It’s from a book written by a businessman, entitled “All You Can Do, Is All You Can Do”. I’ve shared this philosophy with quite a few people. To me, it means looking in the mirror and asking the question: “Am I doing the best I can?”. In short, whether it’s doing your job, taking care of your family or supporting your church……..are you doing ALL you can do?

We know economic times are difficult and we understand that. It’s affected almost everyone, myself included. When the real estate market tanked last year, our income dropped substantially, but we kept our 2008 pledge and increased our pledge for 2009. We will do the same this year for 2010, even though business is still terrible.

What I am asking you to do this morning is to look at your priorities. Where does Trinity fit in? Is there more you can do to support the Vision and Mission of Trinity with your time, your talent and your financial support?

One of the most important things we can all do when answering that question is to complete your pledge cards for 2010. Everyone has, or shortly will receive a letter and pledge card from Erold. It is essential to the very basics of running the church that we know what we can expect for income in 2010. To that end, I’m asking you to join the clergy, wardens and vestry in making a 100% commitment to make a pledge for 2010 . Our goal is for everyone, yes 100%, of the congregation to complete a pledge card over the next few weeks. We’re not asking for a specific amount or % of income.

What we are asking is that you respond to two simple requests:

First………… Complete your pledge card as soon as possible.

Second……… Do all you can do.

Thanks again for all your support. God Bless each and everyone of you.

And remember, don’t stand by and watch things happen, or even worse….wonder what happened…..BE A DOER…….MAKE THINGS HAPPEN

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