This last week, I am confident that we all gave thanks for the wonderful abundance that God provides for us in a variety of ways.
Our God IS a God of abundance and yet often when we approach that dreaded topic of stewardship, we come at it from a perspective of scarcity. We hear pleas from the pulpit for an increase in financial giving to keep the lights on and our doors open. We hear concerns from the leaders of the church that money is tight and we may have to cut back on staffing or programming ... we have an annual givings appeal which points at a deficit budget and all the ways that we cannot make ends meet. So often when it comes to church finances, we look at it from the perspective of things we lack. But I wonder: if our God is a God of abundance and if, as the Psalmist writes, we do indeed lack nothing (psalm 23:1), maybe it's time we approached things differently.
Perhaps it is time to 'flip the script' and look at the many opportunities God provides us, as this unique community of faith, to give back to God and live out our call as people of faith in Nanoose Bay. If you take a moment to look at all the things that we as church do for this community and the wider world, it is easy to see that we are truly gifted and have an abundance to share. From the work of the Tumaini group, to providing space for Nanoose Community Services to operate, sharing our time and talents to support refugee work, and more…. God gives us countless opportunities to be the loving presence of God in the world.
Last Sunday we heard of the one healed man who saw the good work God had done, who noticed the abundance of love and grace and mercy that the Holy One offers. We talked about the need to turn back to God and give thanks. Giving thanks to God today is not a call to prostrate ourselves at the feet of Jesus - but perhaps it is a call to open our eyes and our hearts, to find those opportunities to give back to God in time, talent and yes even tithing - to affirm the good work that God is doing right here, right now, in THIS time and place. Our financial support of the work of this community is our thanks and praise to God and our commitment to continue the work of God in Nanoose Bay. So when we think about church finances, our regular giving and annual budgets, I invite you to open your heart to the abundance of God's goodness, and seek out ways that you can affirm the good work God is doing right here in this place.
Let us pray:
Eternal God, we pray that we will make stewardship a way of Life.
We acknowledge you as the source of all we have and all we are.
Help us to place you, our loving Creator, first in our lives by becoming more prayerful, more focused on loving and caring for our families and our neighbors in need, and by becoming less preoccupied with material things.
Help us to hear your call to be good stewards, caretakers, and managers of all your gifts by sharing them for your purposes. Help us make your priorities our priorities and to put our faith into action.
Help us plan to 'give back' the talents, treasures and time with which we have been blessed.
Help us plan to serve our church, our community, and our world with your gifts.
May we serve you and pray with a joyful spirit of mind and heart.
For the love of all creatures great and small, we will be holding a Blessing of the Animals service at 1pm on October 16. Creatures of all sorts are welcome to join us in the Pet Memorial Garden as we give thanks for all the joy and love that these animals bring to our lives!
Now that we have the readers’ schedule posted on the whiteboard in the hall, we are looking for looking for people to read or lead intercessions on Sunday Mornings. If this is a ministry you are interested in, please speak with Rev. Kirsten or sign up on the READERS ROSTER WHITEBOARD located on the wall outside the Rector’s office in the hall.
Thanks to those who have already signed up!
Faith Tides is the official publication of the Anglican diocese of Islands and Inlets. It is a space where people of faith and doubt can share their stories, challenge their perceptions, and grow together.
In this issue: Anglicanism vs Anglianism by Bishop Anna; A pilgrimage close to home; Reflections from the World Council of Churches; Small boys, golden doors, and great cathedrals; Solutions over despair; and more...
For more information visit: https://faithtides.ca/