While I may be out of the office this week, my friends you are never far from my mind – and of course our ongoing discussions around stewardship must go on in my absence! Last week we talked about giving from a place of abundance as opposed to a place of scarcity and this week we are going to look at what it is that we are giving. Time, talents and tithing are the three T’s of stewardship but what does this actually mean. I think its easiest to start with the third T – Tithing – as giving of our financial abundance to support the work of the church is something we can all tangibly understand. The money we give goes to fund a variety of aspects of our life as the church. Some of our money goes to simply keeping the church buildings going – to pay the bills, keep the lights on and ensure we have adequate staffing to do all that God is calling us to do and be in this place. A portion of our money also goes to things like outreach – supporting things in our community like NCS, or maybe PWRDF, or Tumaini or other special outreach efforts throughout the year. And still another portion of our money goes to the Diocese in our diocesan assessment. Now this often causes some controversy among the pews as it seems strange that we would give such a percentage of our budget to the folks in Victoria – but this is often because the purpose of this money is misunderstood. The money that we send to the diocese in part supports the work of our Bishop Anna and other synod office staff, but it also supports the work of churches just like us all around our diocese. After a chat with Jennifer last week, I learned that over the years, St. Mary’s has been a recipient of the generous grants from the diocese, money which comes for the assessment money of other churches to support the work of ALL of us around the diocese. It isn’t just about who we are as St. Mary’s but about who we are as people of God, as Anglicans on these Islands and Inlets – living, worshipping, serving together as the body of Christ.
The other two T’s of Stewardship – time and talents - often go hand in hand. Time is simply the time we take to do the work of the church, how we volunteer for the various tasks that are required in this community to keep this place running so smoothly. Now the talents portion is simple using the natural and unique gifts that God provides each of us to serve and give of our time in unique ways. Perhaps you have a green thumb and enjoy playing the garden – well I’m sure Don and his crew would welcome some help in keeping our grounds looking beautiful. Maybe you love to read, or have a clear strong voice but are not sure how you can help – well we are ALWAYS looking for folks to sign up to read the scripture lessons on Sunday mornings!! Do you have a prayerful heart and a knack for words? Maybe you would like to try your hand at leading the Prayers of the people (of which there are many resources to help you do so!) Or perhaps you are an avid baker and can offer some assistance with coffee hour. Or maybe you have a burning desire to reach out to those in need in some way, or have an idea for a fundraiser that could raise funds and FUN in the community. The ways in which your talents can be used to further the kingdom of God is endless – and if you have a desire to get involved but are not sure how or what your next step is … I would LOVE to speak with you and together we can discern where God is calling you.
While tithing is an important aspect of Stewardship and as I learned this week is easy to get signed up for (Malcolm was more than happy to help me sign up for electronic giving and get me some offering envelopes), but time and talents are important too. We are the body of Christ TOGETHER. We are all called to take part in the work that we are called to do and there is a place for everyone in the community of faith. So I invite you to give some prayerful consideration to the ways in which you offer your tithe, time and talents and search your hearts to God’s calling you forward in stewardship.
Peace to you all as you go about your unique and important ministries,
October 2022 Financials
Total Revenue $14,818.46
Total Expenses $20,846.23
Net Income/Deficit (-$6,027.77)
This week’s new donations include the following businesses: Susan Forrest of Royal Le Page, Island Exposures and Framing, Parksville Chrysler, Westcoastees, Sunrise Ridge Resort, Parks West Stationery, Cultivate Garden Centre, Urban Edge Hair Salon, The Rocking Horse Pub and Chameleon’s Restaurant. Virginia J has also donated two matching antique platters.
This makes a total of auction items received to 62; 47 items are from local businesses and 15 items are from members of our congregation. So far we have contacted 107 local businesses, many of whom have promised to donate items. To all those who have given help: a big thank you, especially to Marrianna W, Daniela H and Mary H.
On Saturday, November 5, from 9:00am to 12:30pm at the University of Victoria Multifaith Centre, all are invited to join me, Bishop Anna, along with a panel of speakers each with a unique story, to hear about how God called us to ordination. Each member of the panel will speak for 12 minutes, and we'll have opportunities for questions and comments throughout the day. This is a special time to celebrate our journeys and hopefully inspire others to take the first step towards ordained ministry.
Who should attend Vocations Day?
There will be light refreshments and lots of time for discussion and questions. Pre-registration is required and I ask that you register by Monday, October 24. Click HERE to register.