Stewardship 2016: Message from a Vestry Member to the Congregation on 10-23-2016

Posted by: on Oct 24, 2016 | No Comments

I am usually the Vestry member who takes a moment, on these Stewardship Sundays, to acknowledge the people who serve us – David, Gloria, Justin, Malcolm and Paulette, Christine, and Sarah Gregie and to help us understand that we are an organization that uses most of its dollars to compensate those who serve us so well.  So, let’s take a moment to show our gratitude to them as I am going to go in a different direction today.

Last week I received an email from one of you that reminded me that Stewardship comes in many forms – yes, pledging our financial support for this wonderful church, but also in giving of our time and our talent.  And, in fact, the email helped me remember that there are times when we simply cannot be the giver and need for this nourishing place to take us in and feed us – spiritually and even practically.  I have been in both places – the giver and the one needing nourishment and I am deeply grateful to all of you for the care you have shown me.

For some reason the email also  prompted me to think differently, perhaps more broadly, about what it means to give financially to Saint Andrew’s.  I came to understand that my pledge is not about paying my fair share because I liked the sermon, or the music, or the ability to sit quietly in this contemplative and beautiful space.  I believe that St. Andrew’s has become and must remain, a force in our larger community for goodness, loving kindness, reason and discernment, fairness, and for open mindedness.  Through David’s deep spiritual and theological work with us, to the interfaith work we have done and our deepening understanding of Celtic Christianity, we have come to represent what is truly relevant as Christians in and for the 21st Century.

And now the kids are here, and their families are here, and it is our responsibility to do everything we can, financially and in sharing time and talents, to foster the growing spirituality of the coming generations in our community.  So those of us who are able need to give more this year because Saint Andrew’s needs us and Livingston needs Saint Andrew’s.   [The Vestry and Search Committee will help all of us understand why there is a need for more, through group meetings and individual conversations.]   For me it’s kind of like giving to my college.  I believe in the vision set forth by that fine institution just as I believe in the vision set forth by Saint Andrew’s.  I give to both so that the coming generations can reap the benefits I have been privileged to be a part of.

Thank you.

Mary Cavalier