On October 21 this congregation enjoyed a Ministry Fair. After the services on this day worshipers could wander throughout our spacious Great Hall and Sports Hall learning about the many and varied ministries that people of St. Paul’s carry out in this building and from this building.
On your behalf I’ve thanked our two chief organizers, our Senior Warden Rob Vollkommer and Junior Warden Joanne Clark. With the support of vestry members and representation from these varied ministry groups we had a great turnout! People met each other, too, as they toured the displays. That’s what I heard from several of you.
The Ministry Fair highlighted the health of this congregation. Baptism calls us into many and varied ministries, and the ministry appropriate to each of us is shaped by the natural gifts and talents we possess as gifts from God and the interests and perhaps even the passions that motivate us. I use the word “ministry” intentionally. It bears repeating: ministry is not simply the function of people who are deacons and priests and bishops. Ministry is anything we do for God. Ministry is that which we do because we are responding to God.
I encourage you all to be aware of those interests and perhaps even passions that motivate you, taking time in prayer to ask God how you might give fuller expression to those interests and passions in ways that help your church and your community. Don’t hesitate to bring to our attention an idea or interest where you could help us develop a fuller representation of the goodness of God. We’ll listen with you to God and see where that goes.
I encourage us all as well, during this time in which the Stewardship Ministry people are calling for our financial commitment for 2019, to support St. Paul’s with your financial giving. We all have a need to give to God, and many, if not most of us, have the need to do so with our finances, as well as with our presence and with the giving of our talents and abilities.
I believe St. Paul’s is worthy of your generosity. Our staff is excellent, hardworking, smart, supporting the ministries of our membership. They deserve our support, so that we can adequately pay them and keep them with us. Your financial support is essential.
Consider making your first check to the church, giving of your first-fruits, the practice of many of our givers. If you haven’t done so before, consider giving a percentage of your income to the church.
The Ministry Fair showed us a healthy church, growing healthier. The Ministry Fair showed us a church in development, in an age when many churches are experiencing decline in energy. God’s been good to St. Paul’s over many generations, and people have responded over many generations with their ministries. This is our moment. What will future generations enjoy because of us?
God is love. The world needs a witness to God’s love, and ministry is what we do to spread love. May God bless all of us, and use St. Paul’s for God’s purposes to bring forgiveness of sins, works of charity and justice, and hope in these trying times.