A Message from the Senior Warden on Ingathering Sunday
Today, we are blessing the pledges that have already been forthcoming in our annual stewardship appeal. On behalf of our Vestry, I want to extend special thanks to Suzy Mink and Ty Holden for leading the campaign this year. and to all of you have stepped up thus far to support this vital effort.
To borrow a famous phrase, though, this is not the end of the campaign, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning. The campaign is ongoing, so indulge me please in a word to those who are in the habit of pledging but have not yet done so this year and more especially to those who have not yet gotten into the habit.
I hope everyone in the pews or watching online feels, as I do, the pulse of renewed life coursing through this parish.
As Bertie has launched his ministry here, it's been great to see longtime parishioners reaching out to support him and the entire Pearson family and to enfold them in the embrace of our parish community.
And it's been especially exciting to have many new folks in church. Every Sunday I'm seeing unfamiliar faces -- and if you're one of these, I can't wait to meet you and help you get to know St. Alban's.
Our parish has the makings of a very bright future in store -- and it will realize that future if we all pull together.
In this context, I view this year's annual pledge campaign as a great opportunity to build on this momentum with a fresh sense of gratitude and hope: Gratitude for the many blessings we enjoy in this church. Hope that in 2024 and the years beyond we can magnify even more -- individually and as a faith community -- the love and service we render to God, to one another, and to our neighbors beyond the bounds of our parish.
We have so many things to be grateful for here. Let me cite a few:
- For Geoffrey's leadership in preparing us for this new phase in the life of STA.
- For Emily’s stepping up to lead us in the transition, for her fostering of our children’s education in the faith and for her challenging messages from the pulpit.
- For Yoimel's prodigious priestly gifts, including his rapport with our youth and our Latino brothers and sisters.
- For our marvelous vocal and instrumental musicians and our superlative music director.
- For the volunteers who collectively devote hundreds -- I dare say -- thousands of hours supporting our programs and missions and all the work that goes into STA’s keeping on keeping on.
- For all the parishioners whose generosity has made it possible for St. Alban's to allocate in its operating budget some $247,000 in outreach for three years running, directly to other charities and indirectly through our contributions to the Diocese -- not to mention a roughly equal amount in economic benefits conferred by making our buildings available rent-free to Iona, AA, and others.
- For last year's Vestry’s calling of Bertie to be our Rector and for his and Rahel’s acceptance of our invitation to throw in their lot with us.
- For the overflowing enthusiasm, skill and insight with which Bertie has jumped into his position as our new leader.
In the year to come, you can depend on this: Every Sunday and throughout every week of the year, the efforts of all these folks and others I've not mentioned will combine to provide you the opportunity to deepen your faith through worship and service.
All those who serve need to be able to depend on all of us to provide the resources it takes for the church to be what the church should be.
Pledging is one way -- a key way -- in which we can all provide that assurance.
And when you think of it, pledging is a way to serve, too. They say that money is like labor service stored up and congealed in amber. So if you have stored up a lot, take joy in pledging proportionally.
If your means are modest, a small pledge will be just as meaningful and will be received with joy and gratitude.
Either way, your pledge will stand as a commitment of productive energy, given over to the service of our Lord and your neighbor through the church -- in the words of the prayer book, an offering and a sacrifice to God. And also a way of joining hands with your fellow parishioners to build on the momentum of this new phase in our shared life of faith.
Thanks very much. God bless us all, and God bless St. Alban's.
November 12, 2023