Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 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 07, 2013

Stewardship begins! - Rector's Rambling for October 6, 2013

October has arrived, which means that it is time for the people of St. John’s to think about their support of St. John’s in the coming year.
Stewardship is the belief that all that we have is a gift from God, and therefore it is our responsibility to return a portion of that to the Church to support her ministry.  The second Office of Instruction in the Book of Common Prayer reminds us that our bounden duty, “is to follow Christ, to worship God every Sunday in his Church; and to work and pray and give for the spread of his kingdom” (p. 291).  Your pledge to support the parish in 2014 is a promise to be faithful to God in the year ahead.  We do this by attending and giving to support the Church, which is the foundation for the spread of Christ’s kingdom.
What a difference a year makes, and it is primarily because of you, the parishioners.  Last year the Vestry was faced with further budget cuts to balance the budget.  Several individuals stepped forward to give additional financial support of those ministries close to their hearts, and overall giving has been up this year through your regular contributions.
For the first time in over 50 years St. John’s has not had to use any income or growth from the parish endowment fund to pay our operating expenses!  By the combination of your contributions, and the parking income, St. John’s is paying her bills.
But now is not the time to rest on our laurels.  I don’t want us to do Stewardship in order to just fulfill a budget.  I want Stewardship to be the expression of a grateful heart!  The biblical admonition for support is at least 10% of your income.  We give not because we want to meet a budget, or because we “have to”.  We give out of gratitude for God’s provision for us in our lives, and gratitude for this parish church!
Great, wonderful, positive things are happening here at St. John’s.  I pray that you will consider what that means to you, and support this work through your contributions.