On Scarcity & Abundance
It’s that time of year again to renew our yearly commitment to St Martin’s in the
Annual Renewal Campaign (ARC), or Stewardship Renewal. Both annual renewal or stewardship invite us to review our thankfulness to God - expressed through gifts of time, talent, as well as treasure. Kick-Off Sunday is this Sunday, October 27
th. The ARC will conclude on Ingathering Sunday, November 24
th, in time for the celebration of Thanksgiving. With everything else going on in our community, this year's campaign will be short and sharp.
The spiritual practice of thanksgiving focuses on gratitude for the many benefits that we enjoy – benefits we as Christians understand as given to us by God - not only for our personal enjoyment but as the resource for a generous engagement in the world.
- Through generosity we make the world a better place.
- Through a desire to give back we endeavor to embody the change we long to bring about in our daily living.
Next week you will receive by mail an invitation from the parish treasurer who is currently Mary Gray, asking you to renew your annual financial support for St Martin’s. In order to effectively budget for 2020, we depend on you returning your estimate of giving card – formerly known as a pledge card. Mary’s letter will also list some significant actions taken in the past year to become even more efficient and effective.
We know of your generosity in 2019 and we feel deeply thankful for your generosity! Will you confirm your sustained generous intention for 2020 so that we have as accurate a projection of likely income for the coming year?
As Rector, I am asking all of us to undertake a prayerful reflection as part of our participation in the ARC. Prayerful reflection is a term we all kind of understand - but are often not sure how to implement. Prayerful reflection needs to be anchored to a key question. May I suggest the key question to ask is:
What is your first memory of money – is it a positive or an anxious memory?
This is a searchlight question - illuminating the internal tussle between our life-long fears of scarcity, and our actual experience of abundance.
I find that unless I am careful and vigilant, my scarcity anxiety easily obscures my actual life-long experience of abundance. The resulting tension - if not kept at the front of my mind - unconsciously inhibits my desire to relate to the world from a place of gratitude and generosity.
On Sunday we had 169 people in church at 9:30. This was partly due to a large family baptism for Benjamin Isaac Edgar, but to have a fuller church felt wonderful. In addition to the visitors we also had three seekers for whom the joy and energy of last Sunday's service was an attraction. I am aware that some members have yet to show up for Sunday worship this new program year. I look forward to seeing you in church, if not this Sunday, then a Sunday soon.