RECTOR’S LETTER - OCTOBER
I am making my financial offering a spiritual offering, too.
For those of you who know me well, you know that I am a champion of “to do” lists. I constantly have a running “to do” list, and when that list is mostly complete, I can easily fill another page with other things to do. In some ways that practice is a lifesaver. It helps me get work done, it keeps important things in front of me, and it keeps food in the fridge and clean laundry in drawers.
The challenge with being a person focused on a “to do” list is that everything becomes a “to do” item. In other words, everything becomes a task to achieve without much feeling or joy behind it. In some cases, that is okay. One doesn’t need to love folding laundry – even if various Disney characters seem capable of making laundry joyful. But when it comes to writing my pledge check or coming to yet another meeting, those things should be joyful. That is a spiritual area in which I sometimes struggle. More often, when I write my monthly pledge check, it is either perfunctory (just what has to be done) or it is a burden (leaving me imagining all the other things I could be doing with that lump of money). Neither of those attitudes comes from a spiritually grounded place. The same can be said of going to a meeting or even showing up on Sunday. It can feel like one more thing we have to do – as opposed to a time where we can find joy.
As I ponder on “God the Giver,” this year’s Stewardship theme, I am going to be praying about how I might get back to a more faithful practice of stewardship – not so much that I am giving, but the spirit with which I am giving. In addition to making a pledge this year, I am also going to pledge to pray each time I write my check. I am going to give thanks to God for all the blessings I find at St. Margaret’s. I am going to give thanks to God for all the blessings in my family and friends. I am going to give thanks for the blessing of a vocation that challenges and enriches me.
I am also going to work on understanding how God the Giver is blessing me in the ways that I spend my time and talent. In addition to gearing up mentally for each meeting that I have, I want to pledge to pray for the work we will be doing, giving thanks to God for those who graciously give their time and talent, and asking that God might help me hear the movement of the Holy Spirit in our work and in our play.
I invite you this year to consider a similar spiritual check-in. Certainly, the Stewardship Committee and I are encouraging you to consider how your pledge this year might be a reflection of gratitude for all that God has given you. But I also invite you to consider how you might make your financial offering a spiritual offering too. I invite you to ground the practical with a healthy dose of the spiritual. I also invite you to do the same with your investments of time and talent. What shifts do you need to make to transform your time at St. Margaret’s into a blessing instead of a burden? How might you leave a planning meeting renewed by the Holy Spirit instead of bogged down by a growing “to do” list? I look forward to hearing about how your spiritual and financial disciplines are going – what is bringing you joy and what is challenging you. None of us is in this alone. Your St. Margaret’s community is here, ready to pray, give, and celebrate together.
~ The Rev. Jennifer Andrews-Weckerly