From Thine Own
During our Christian education forums, we often ask if anyone has any burning questions about any topic of faith. One Sunday, a woman asked about the words we use each week as we take up the offering at the 8:00 mass: "All things come of thee O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee." What does that mean? she asked.
That's an excellent question, not just because it raises a bigger question of the meaning and impact of liturgical language on our 21st century ears, but specifically about the rich theology of stewardship packed into that short prayer of offering. Everything we have: our time, our talents, our financial resources, our very life and breath are all gifts that come from our Creator. Anything we give back already comes from what God has given us. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ involves all we do, with all we have, all the time -- being a disciple is a full-time job.
How do we understand financial giving to the work of God at St. John's? As we enter into this season of stewardship, do we think of giving as another charitable endeavor, or an obligation to pay our share of the expenses of our church, OR as an act of self-offering, an act of worship and thanksgiving? Every time each of us fills out a pledge card, or gives of our financial resources during the year, we thank the one from whom all our blessings flow. Generosity is a spiritual practice where we lift up our hands and our hearts in thanksgiving to the Lord.
This year we are having three opportunities to explore these spiritual questions at lunches at clergy house with Bishop Frank Brookhart. We are so pleased that he is offering the generosity of his time to be with the people of St. John's. We encourage and invite you to sign up and attend one of these three lunches held on the last two Sundays of October and the first week of November. Together, our sacrificial acts of generosity, thanksgiving and self-offering will enable St. John's to shine more brightly in our city for the sake of the Gospel.
Please select from one of the following three dates: