Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 51 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, October 08, 2012

Rector's Rambling - October 7, 2012 - "Where your treasure is..."


October is Stewardship month in most parishes in the Episcopal Church.
In recent years past, we have had stewardship campaigns (sermons, mailings, pledge cards, etc.) at St. John’s, and the results have been less than spectacular.  In fact I was surprised when I came here almost 12 years ago how FEW people turned in pledge cards, despite their regular financial support of the parish.  As budgets have been made, it has been a “guestimate” of what Pledge and Plate income would be, which we usually come pretty close to achieving, and occasionally exceeding.  This number is arrived at by looking at those pledge cards submitted, and the amount contributed year after year by parishioners.  Other income lines are then estimated.
I am sorry for doing you the disservice of not having a formal campaign in recent years.  Stewardship campaigns are about more than getting you to fill out a pledge card and setting a budget.  They are about your priorities of treasure, time, and talent, and ultimately about faith.  Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  An important question to ponder in the coming weeks is, “Is Jesus where your heart is?” and if so, are you supporting it with your treasure?  Furthermore, what part of that faith in Jesus is expressed at, nourished by, and encouraged by this parish?  Study, contemplation and prayer are necessary elements to answer these questions, and in the coming weeks this column will be dedicated to that contemplation, as well as with other materials.
God actually has more to say in Scripture about money and possessions than most other topics.  It is important because they can be a distraction, a stumbling block, an idol, and a cause of much anxiety.  It can also be a great blessing to be shared, and used to glorify God and serve his kingdom.  It depends on where your heart is.
Does St. John’s have a place in your heart?  How is God calling you to support her?