Deans' Note June 12, 2022
Every Christian is called to a life of transformation, to more clearly reflect the image of Jesus. Every aspect of our lives is included -- all we are, everything we have, all the time. The Book of Common Prayer refers to this when we offer to God "ourselves, our souls and bodies." We also talk about all our "time, talent, and treasure" as being given to us by God's grace. So as we are transformed into the image of Christ, we serve and share with others as ambassadors of Christ. As the old prayer puts it: "All things come of thee O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee."
Part of the discipline and practice of being transformed into the image of Christ includes the use of our financial resources. Sacrificial giving is an integral part of what it means to be a Christian. In the Episcopal Church, the tithe, or 10% of our financial resources are meant to be the sacrificial gift we make to the ministry of Christ through our church. Many of us have not attained that standard, though many of us have. The amount of money isn't key, the percentage is. What percentage of your finances do you offer to God through the work of your congregation?
Each summer at St. John's we offer an opportunity to engage in a special spiritual practice of financial giving called "Practice the Tithe." We invite everyone in our congregation to give 10% of one week's income as a special offering to the work of St. John's. On Sunday July 10, we will invite you to bring these gifts with you to church, or you can make this special offering online, or give it during this Practice the Tithe season. This is one way we can take an extra step in faith that we may not feel able to make every week in addition to our normal financial pledge to St. John's. When all of us give to the level we are capable of, we will make a significant impact on the ability of the cathedral to do ministry within the congregation and through our outreach to the wider community.
There may be some among us who have not made a financial pledge for this year as yet, we invite you to join in with the rest of the community to be part of this integral ministry in this place. As you make this offering, know that it represents the action of the Holy Spirit helping to transform your life into the sacrificial image of Christ for the world. As St. Paul envisioned it "Christ in you, the hope of glory."