St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
Annual Giving Campaign 2020
Stewardship of the
"Grace Within"
I often think the best part of Thanksgiving is the intentional reflection upon all that we are grateful for in our lives. It can happen as we prepare to gather with friends or family, or it can happen as we stumble into the time of prayer before our meal, or it can be an intentional practice of prayer that abides with us throughout the whole day. It doesn't matter how it happens, only that it happens. Somehow this day makes us realize what we have to be grateful for -- and in that act of honest gratitude, we are acknowledging the grace which resides within us: the presence of God which has managed to wiggle it's way into our hearts and lives and has actually made a difference, and for which we can only bow our heads in gratitude as a response.

I believe true and faithful living begins when we take what God has placed upon our hearts and we make the decision and commitment to follow the urge to share it with the world. We can become good stewards of that grace within. We can know that God gave us this gift to share. We can give it away and know that in giving, we will receive more than we could ask or imagine. That's never our motivation, but it is an outcome of faithful living.

Today, as we celebrate Thanksgiving, may we all find a way to give away all that God has bestowed upon us: grace, love, and an openness toward reconciliation.

Gathering In the Way of Love, Mother Barbara
Turning to the sacred text for insight
"For your heart will always be where your riches are."
(Luke 12:34)

While I was serving as the Stewardship Director at St. James, Lancaster, Peter Eaton, the rector, and I often went to conferences to learn about the meaning and practices of developing stewardship in a parish. One workshop which totally caught my attention was based around the idea that our checkbooks reflect what we believe about God. In other words, how we spend our money reflects what we really believe about God and God's call to us in relationships and with the rest of the world. That was a completely new concept to me at the time! And a troubling one, at that! When I went home, pulled up the check register in Quick Books, it was easy to see that at the time, most of our money was spent on taking care of ourselves beyond mere sustenance, of finding ways to enjoy our lives (vacations, etc), and on purchases that made us feel full or successful or perhaps even privileged. When I saw how little we spent on supporting God's ministries outside our family, I was really humbled and a bit horrified-- and that realization invited me to orient my life differently. I began tithing (giving 10%+ to the mission and ministry of God through the church) and everything changed in my life. My heart and money are now oriented toward the riches of God and life is full, successful and privileged in a way that actually really matters for it is all about God's glory. May we all find this place of grace and generosity.

In Christ's love, Mother Barbara
As you reflect upon your own gratefulness this Thanksgiving Day, may you be committed to offer blessings to others from that holy place of knowing you have been gathered and touched by God's love. We invite you to pledge your financial support to our parish, so we may continue to send each one of us out into the world to make a difference.
Why should I pledge?
  • It is an important part of your faith journey.
  • It is a promise to your faith community.
  • It is active witness to the grace of God in your life.
  • It helps our vestry develop a more accurate plan for the church year.
  • It helps you by providing the necessary record of donations for a tax deduction.
Preparing for Sunday
Engaging with the Sacred Texts
To read the texts in advance, please click here.
Healing Prayers
This Sunday at both services
It is right and good to offer our deepest needs to the healing grace of Christ. The first Sunday of each month offers this opportunity as our healing ministers will be available to lay hands on you (if you desire) and pray for you, inviting Christ's grace to be within your heart, mind, body, and soul.
Entering into Silence
Advent is a time of intentionally entering into silence so we can listen for God's call to our heart that we are expectantly awaiting. This Sunday at the 10 a.m. service, we will begin things a bit differently. Rather than beginning our time of silent preparation for the service while people are still arriving, we will begin our time of silence at 10 a.m., and then in a few minutes, will end our silence with a gathering chant, led by Lisa Turchi. We will then ring our tolling bell to begin the procession. This is all so we can gather in that holy communion found only when we sit in silence together.
Praying the Prayers of the People: An Invitation
At the 10 a.m. service this Sunday, we will be inviting you, during this season of Advent, to pray aloud the names of the people held in our collective prayers, along with the lector. In other words, as the lector says the names of the people who have asked for our prayers, if you would like, you are invited to say the names softly aloud or intentionally in your hearts, so that our prayers are "of God's people". We're trying this out for the season of Advent and will ask your feedback in January. It may help you feel ever more connected to those who are raised in our collective heart.
Episcopal Home Mission Sunday
This Sunday at both services
We are so blessed to be next door to a ministry that has been faithful to the call of the Gospel for many years-- The Episcopal Home. This Sunday we are asking for your support of their ministries so we can contribute to the caring they offer to all residents. You will have an opportunity to financially contribute to this mission center as well as to buy quilted goods made by our St. Andrew's Quilters, the proceeds of which go to The Episcopal Home.

There are a few quilt raffle tickets available. Buy them this weekend. The drawing is on Monday! Please see any of the quilters or go to the Episcopal Home to purchase a ticket.
Advent Party/Potluck
This Sunday at 11:15 a.m.
Come this Sunday and start Advent off in community and fun! After the 10 a.m. service, we invite you to come to an Advent Potluck (bring vegetable soup to share) and be prepared to help decorate our Christmas tree and to make an Advent wreath to take home. It's a wonderful way to start this season of preparation and waiting in hope.
Christmas Eve Choir Rehearsal
This Sunday at 11:15 a.m.
This Sunday, we begin the rehearsals for our Christmas Eve choir. Please join us at 11:15 in the Parish Life Center. Lisa Turchi will be the choir director and Brian Helman will be the pianist. It will be a wonderful time of opening and preparing our hearts for the joy we will experience and manifest on Christmas Eve. All are welcome!
Advent Packet
You should have received an Advent Packet this week. If by chance you didn't and would like to receive a packet,, please let Mother Barbara know.

The packet included this great Advent poster (a now annual tradition) which helps us walk faithfully into Advent, a St. Andrew's bumper sticker, a letter from Mother Barbara and a listing of our Advent and Christmas Events. We have plenty -- so let us know if you'd like one!
Make your offering of a financial pledge this Sunday
Please prayerfully consider your pledge of financial support to our parish so we may continue to meet our financial obligations which support our ministries. You may return your pledge card in the offering basket on Sunday or mail it to our church office. Thank you for your generosity which allows us to "Gather in the Way of Love".
Do something to make a difference in the world today, this week, this year. Don't let the size of the task discourage you. Do what you can. And remember these words of Jesus: "YOU give them something to eat."
-Br. David Vryhof,  SSJE
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
206 E. Burd Street
Shippensburg, PA 17257

Mother Barbara