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

Stewardship 2016: Father David’s Letter to the Parish

Posted by: on Oct 24, 2016 | No Comments

To the People of St. Andrew,

I will retire as the Rector of the ECUY in August, 2017.  This means that the coming year will be a time of transition for all three of our parishes.  The processes of change are already in motion.  One of the most significant steps recently taken is the decision to separate the three churches of the Upper Yellowstone.  St. Andrew’s and St. John’s will join in partnership, while St. Mark’s will pursue its desire to have a resident priest in Big Timber.

What does stewardship mean in such times of change?

The first thing to remember is that a parish is always more than its clergy leadership.  This is true whether leadership is departing, or soon to arrive.  This, as always, is a good time for parishioners to exercise more responsibility with regard to their own spiritual welfare and development.  Stewardship means continuing to cultivate the practices of taking care of one another, of studying together, and of serving the local community.

Stewardship means acting with hope for the future of the parish.  It means acting to identify those things which have proven valuable, and to imagine ways to ensure their continuity.

Stewardship means taking the time to reflect on the Christian path—its teaching, doctrine, liturgical practices, governance—and to notice those things which are nourishing, and those which are a source of frustration.

Stewardship means being in conversation with others about the identity, values, and priorities of your parish, and the kind of leadership you seek.  It means becoming more aware of your own spiritual priorities, and taking responsibility for them.

Stewardship means drawing upon your own and others’ spiritual maturity.  It’s not always easy to work in committees, and to harmonize diverse ideas.  No one will get exactly what he or she wants. There will never be a perfect balance between personal preferences and the desires of the community.  Nonetheless, speak the truth in love, and act with grace.

Finally, stewardship means recognizing the gifts which have been entrusted to you, and then sharing them for the good of all.  Share your gifts of time and energy and money.  The changes in the structure of the ECUY mean that each parish will have to assume greater financial responsibility, yet there is no doubt that our three parishes have the resources—spiritual, emotional, and financial—to go confidently forward and thrive.  May God’s blessing be upon the next chapters of all our lives. And my deepest gratitude to all of you for these past twelve years, which have taught me more about God’s presence than I ever could have imagined.

The Rev. David Gunderson

“God’s Grandeur” Gerard Manley Hopkins

Posted by: on May 25, 2015 | No Comments


The world is charged with the grandeur of God.

It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;

It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil

Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?

Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;

And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;

And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil

Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.


And for all this, nature is never spent;

There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;

And though the last lights off the black West went

Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —

Because the Holy Ghost over the bent

World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.