On Stewardship

November 2009 – Rector’s Ruminations

For the past two years, the heart of our Stewardship Campaign has been the sharing of what Emmanuel means to various members of their church family.  These testimonials have been informative, moving and inspirational.  Building on such sharing, this year’s every-member canvass will have at its heart a sharing of what we as a parish family are doing in terms of ministry.  Said differently, how do we use the pledges received; how do we spend the dollars and organize the gifts and talents of our members in carrying out Christ’s ministry. To that end Scott Jones and Beth Jurgensen, this year’s Stewardship Committee Co-chairs, and I have asked some of our committee chair persons to offer a brief overview of what their committee has done and plans to do in the upcoming year.

On November first, Scott and Beth will present an overview showing how stewardship and your pledge of gifts and talents are used to carry out Christ’s ministry on Orcas Island and beyond. On November 8, Fritz Kraetzer, our Outreach Chairman, will give an overview of the rationale and particulars of how and what we support in terms of community programs.  “In Reach” and pastoral care will be addressed by Jan Titus.  On November 15th, Cheryl Danskin will present an update on children’s and youth ministry and plans for next year.  Chris Kenady will also bring us up-to-date on our efforts in support of the Genesis Covenant. On November 22nd, George Garrells will inform us as to the plans for Benson Hall and Nancy Ayer will update us on the Labyrinth.

While we have not asked every committee to report, we thought that those selected would provide a variety in terms of ministry to and with our members, ministry to the wider community, ministry in terms of the environment and some practical “brick and mortar” concerns given the fact that our buildings are an important factor in supporting the many and varied ministries of Emmanuel Parish and related community programs.

It is our goal to complete our every-member canvass by Thanksgiving Day, November 26th.  By now you have received a stewardship letter and pledge card.  It is our hope that you will prayerfully consider how you want to support your parish family in terms of time and dollars.

A concluding thought.  I continue to be impressed by the number of wonderful not-for-profit volunteer organizations here on Orcas Island that promote the common good.  We are blessed to have them and those who contribute to their work in terms of volunteer time and financial support.  The Church, however, is not another tax-exempt volunteer, not-for-profit charitable organization; it is the family of God.  As such, our membership in God’s family invites us to an even deeper commitment in serving God by serving others in Christ, our brother’s name.  I pray that the Holy Spirit will move us to increase our pledge for 2010.

Stewardship is what a person does after he or she says, “I believe.”    +Craig

By Bishop Craig B. Anderson

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