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Faithful Stewards of Thy Bounty…

There’s a phrase we don’t hear very often.  It is part of the Prayers of the People Rite One in the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.  Here is the entire petition.

Open, O Lord, the eyes of all people to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works, that, rejoicing in thy whole creation, they may honor thee with their substance, and be faithful stewards of thy bounty.            The Book of Common Prayer, 1979, page 329.

What does it mean for us to honor God with our substance and be faithful stewards of God’s bounty?

For me, it means to understand that I have been entrusted with many gifts by God and am called to offer those gifts for others.  Those gifts include my energy, my time and the financial resources I have.  I offer them, as part of a Faith Community, St. Luke’s, to be used for the sake of engaging God’s Mission in Rochester, in Minnesota and beyond.

I am also called to be a faithful steward which means I am entrusted with the care of God’s creation.  This includes conserving resources, limiting my contribution to global warming or climate change, and doing all I can to encourage others to be faithful stewards as well.  At St. Luke’s during the past few years, we have made decisions to be faithful stewards by supporting the development of a Rain Garden and by converting most of lights to energy saving lights.  I hope we can continue through the use of an energy audit to do more to lesson our contribution to global warming.

Every autumn, Faith communities focus on Financial Stewardship, inviting everyone who claims a relationship with St. Luke’s to make an offering of your financial resources to support the work that God has given us to do in Rochester and beyond.  The Finance Working Group, Wardens, Vestry members and I have made a commitment to sharing on a quarterly basis, our financial position which is accurate and transparent.  Part of the Consecration Sunday Process includes sharing with you the Pattern of Giving among us which is offered in hopes of encouraging you to consider “taking a step up” in your giving if it is possible.  You can find the 2013 Pattern of Giving here

On Sunday, 3 November, All Saints Sunday and Consecration Sunday, Mr. Rich Simons, will be our Guest Preacher.  Rich grew up in the Diocese of Ohio being the first of four children of parents that included an Episcopal priest father. Additionally he had three uncles who were Episcopal priests and so a strong sense of belonging was establish and reinforced through his childhood development. .

Rich and his wife Louise have attended St Mark’s Cathedral since moving to Minnesota 17 years ago. His wife Louise is the Director of Social Services for the Salvation Army in MN and ND. Both of their children have grown up in this faith community participating in education, youth group, and mission trips as well as various leadership roles.

Rich is the Director of the Combustion Channel Marketing at Honeywell and has undergraduate electrical engineering and MBA degrees.  In business, he is trained and experienced in marketing, finance, and engineering and able to bring these skills to a church environment via organization, leadership, and participation.

I invite you to make every effort to join us for Worship and Brunch at St. Luke’s on Sunday, 3 November.  There is no Contemporary Service on Saturday evening, 2 November.

If you are not able to join us but would like to make a pledge in support for 2014, you can pick up a Pledge Card in the office and complete it so that it can be included in the Ingathering on Consecration Sunday.

Finally, I invite you to pray the petition I quoted from the Book of Common Prayer during the next week so that it can center your thoughts on what it may mean for you to honor God with your substance and be a faithful steward of God’s bounty!

I hope to see you at worship!

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Robin Caldwell
    October 27, 2013 at 11:05 am

    I look forward to hearing Rich’s comments next week.

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