Thank you for being in person or in spirit at the Gratitude Sunday service and brunch this past Sunday. These two events were both spirit-filled expressions of gratitude for the beautiful and bountiful community we support in kinship. As Louis and Francine were baptized into kinship with us, we heard, “Therefore in joyful obedience to your Son, we bring into his fellowship those who come to him in faith, baptizing them in the Name of the Creator, and of Christ, and the Holy Spirit.” We walked our pledges to the altar with one another. John Corlett kicked off the basket drive with Casa Maria, our partner in serving the St. Nicholas (Richdale) community. We heard the children’s choir belt out songs of praise. “I’ve Got the Love,” and “Le lo le, lo, lay lo.” We heard, “We now remember a timeless story: Among friends gathered around a table, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “This is my body which was given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” The Chime Choir played joyful music. We shared the Eucharist. We were sent out into the world with a jazzy, upbeat version of “Guide me, O thou great Jehovah,” followed by a powerful playing on the organ of the Prelude in C Major, BuxWV 138 Dietrich Buxtehude by our Minister of Music, Chad Smith. Our Pilgrim youth served a tasty Gratitude brunch. What a wonderful manifestation of all possible when we support St. John’s!
Pledging is the financial part of our spiritual practice of the stewardship of our individual gifts, and an essential part of our community’s budgeting process. Pledging is an aspirational promise of financial support for the well-being of the people, staff, clergy, building, and programs of St. John’s in the coming year. Knowing how much money may be received in 2024 is essential for the Vestry budgetary decision process. Speaking from experience, it is much easier to plan a balanced budget for 2024 if the Vestry has a good sense of the income to be expected.
Pledge Drive Update
We currently have 100 pledges for about $441,000 following the abundant gifts on Gratitude Sunday. So far, twelve new pledgers have pledged $21,329 (significantly more than in previous years), and existing pledges have increased by an average of 7%. Thank you for your generous support! To have a balanced budget in 2024, and to close the 2023 budget deficit of $58,000, we need to raise about $590,000. We have made significant headway toward that goal!
Please pledge your support of St. John’s if you already haven’t. Any amount is helpful, and what is given in gratitude will be received with thankfulness. Pledge gratitude for all that God has gifted you and this community you are an essential part of. Where else can you find such kinship?
“In deep gratitude for this moment, this meal, and for these people, we give ourselves to you, most holy God. Take us out into the world to live as changed people because we have shared the Living Bread and cannot remain the same. Ask much of us, expect much from us, and encourage many through us. Amen.”
There is enough, there is enough, there is enough, and some to share.
Michael A. Walters
(Clerk to the Vestry, Ministry of Stewardship past-Chair, acolyte, Confirmand mentor)