A Vision for Transformation and Service: Open our eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works.
When I first came to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral – in 1999 – it was the first time I had ever attended an Episcopal church service. It was Easter Sunday, and by the end of the Eucharist, I was hooked. Over the next nineteen years (and counting), I received so much from this cathedral, its worship, its community, its ministries, and its thoughtful teaching.
The gifts St. Andrew’s bestows on each of us are different, and I am willing to bet that each of us finds that the gifts we receive from our time together at St. Andrew’s change and vary depending on the circumstances of our lives outside the walls of this place. Our St. Andrew’s community comes through again and again. That is one of the many reasons I kept coming back. We all benefit from a healthy and vital parish.
In order to be a healthy and vital parish, I learned that the church gives to us, so we must too give to the church. That’s why this place works. And, over those years, I also learned that my spiritual life is better, more grounded, when I make stewardship a part of my every day life, not just at Consecration Sunday. This was a new lesson for me as a spiritual discipline. Growing up, and when I first joined St. Andrew’s, I knew that one was supposed to tithe. I viewed that as a financial transaction that happened once a year, almost entirely divorced from a spiritual discipline or other activities. What I’ve learned here, and witnessed through so many diligent and caring parishioners, is that this life, lived fully, is one that continues day-to-day.
Our work, our time, and our mutual desire to make our community a better place, and yes, our treasure, all inspire me to focus on a stewardship that is an all-encompassing aspect of our shared worship. It’s not just about a pledge, though that is important in any amount, it is also about being part of the life of this place. And, that life is one that I find brings me closer to God. I am so thankful for it. I love this cathedral, and this family, and am immensely grateful for the gifts I have found here.