A Must-Read Stewardship Moment from Nancy Biscone
Several months ago, I became a new member of Stowe Community Church. Since then I have joined Women's Fellowship, worked on the Christmas Fair and joined the Stewardship committee. A year ago, I did not think any of this would have been possible, so it is a real pleasure to be able to share with you my inspirations for pledging.
First, as a Stewardship Committee member I would like to add my thanks to all who have so generously made a pledge over the past two months. With your commitment we have set a precedence by reaching over 99% of our goal. This is exciting news to have come so far! But we still have a small way to go.
I moved to Stowe last March 2022 to be near family. I had been attending the Belfast United Methodist Church in Midcoast Maine for the past 20 years. Finding a church to go to was important to me as I contemplated on moving to Stowe. Finding no Methodist Church here I resigned myself to continue to attend my Church in Maine on line.
Then Dan arrived in my circle of new people shortly after I arrived. He visited Copley Woodlands Independent Retirement Community where I reside, and talked to us about SCC and its roots, which included the Methodist Denomination. I decided to give it a try and am so glad I did! I was amazed to find such a lively and vibrant church, with many children and families as part of the established congregation. It is my hope that SCC continues to be such a welcoming bright light in this community. Pledging will help to ensure that this happens.
Over the past two months you have heard the Stewardship Committee members share their own personal stories and reasons for pledging, and encouragement for you to do the same.
The idea of pledging is new to me, and it took many weeks of prayer, reflection and soul searching for me to take that step. I will share some of what I contemplated on.
My religious and spiritual journey began in early childhood as it did for many of you, and our previous speakers. Several weeks ago, Greg Morrill mentioned his memory of a box of envelopes to be used solely for donations to church every Sunday. I remember those envelopes well, and the feeling of significance that surrounded them. To a young child, filling the envelope with money and putting it in the donation plate for God was spellbinding. This act was important. It was a big deal.
One of the most outstanding and vivid memories I have of my childhood, returned to me this past Christmas Eve at the 3 o'clock service. I stood beside and in between my daughter and granddaughter. They had been to church once before when I became a new member. At that time my 7-year-old granddaughter asked a lot of questions, and was very curious about the church. One such question being, “Gram, why does that man have a cape on?" when Dan walked by our pew. She also discovered the Hymnal and was enthralled as she worked very hard to follow along with the hymns.
On Christmas Eve, we settled into our pew, and the service began. My Granddaughter would have no part in singing the songs from the insert in the bulletin. Instead she picked up the Hymnal and insisted we find the Hymns there, and began leafing through the pages to find the Carols we were singing. I sat down beside her and scrambled to find the right pages. We began to sing those glorious Christmas Hymns as I guided her along. While we shared this moment of togetherness, I felt my daughter’s hand on my shoulder and back, and was filled with awe and wonder at the three of us. Three generations coming together to praise God in Song.
Then I remembered my own first experience in Church. Only 5 or 6 years old, I sat with my mother and grandmother, and was filled with curiosity and excitement, much like my granddaughter was. As all became quiet for the service, I craned my neck and head to see the altar through the people in the pews, and then my voice rang out clearly and earnestly, Is God up there? I can't see him. Where is God? I want to see God.
I will be forever grateful for that moment of pure innocence, wonder and excitement being returned to me on Christmas Eve as I sat with my Granddaughter, recalling my fervent intent to see God.
At SCC, I believe we all have the responsibility to our children and youth, to help them see God. This is why I pledge. My reason is simple. I want to support our Religious Education Ministry, our youth group and looking forward, educational and spiritual programs across the lifespan of our adult members. With this in mind I urge you to pledge whatever amount you can, specifically for our now thriving religious education programming.