Rethinking Stewardship One Pillar at a Time
For the last several weeks, the Sunday sermon has focused on the Four Pillars of SsAM. A few years ago, the vestry developed these four strategic goals as part of the mutual ministry review. Last year while I was on sabbatical, the vestry re-engaged with the strategic plan and renamed the plan, the Four Pillars of SsAM. This year our stewardship theme incorporates the pillars in an effort to remind us of our stewardship of time, talent. and treasure.
This fall, we have had three town hall meetings for the purpose of listening to your ideas on how we live out the Four Pillars. Two financial town hall meetings are scheduled for Sunday October 27, one after each of the morning worship services.
I have appreciated the energy that has been shown at the town hall meetings. These town hall meetings have been an opportunity for the leadership of the parish and for the rector to hear your ideas about how we grow the body of Christ. Let me make a couple of observations.
Tasks and Relationships
The first observation focuses on the tension between task and relationship. Each one of us has many tasks given to us. We feel pressure to complete them on time. Some tasks might have to be delayed because life has a way of interfering with our schedule. Our best intentions to get something completed might have to wait until a more pressing event is resolved.
When we focus only on the task at hand, our human tendency (or my human tendency) is to simply try to problem solve so that the task becomes clear and manageable. What we might miss or forget is that often these tasks involve relationships. When we tend to our relationships, the task that we are involved with might be resolved organically. What I mean is that when we focus on relationships, we have a greater appreciation for the work and experience of one another so that together we can work on what needs to done. A case point was the Community Fun Fest on September 28, 2019. There were a lot of moving pieces to make the event a success and without the building of relationships the Fun Fest might not have happened.
The Importance of Transparency
My second observation is focused on the importance of transparency. Transparency was important when, over twenty five years ago, St. Andrews and St. Matthews began the conversation about consolidation, a conversation that led to the creation in 1996 of the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew. Transparency is difficult and hard work because we open ourselves to being vulnerable, because we fear the ideas we have might not be accepted. To be transparent requires a degree of humility that opens us to new learnings and approaches to church and life.
SsAM I AM
As we conclude the SsAM I AM stewardship program, I look forward to hearing what you value about this faith community. I look forward to receiving your SsAM I AM pledge cards. I trust that you will have prayerfully considered your offering for the coming year.
Together as a community I am convinced that we will grow in spirit. Together we will develop creative and sustainable ways to continue being a vibrant community in the city of Wilmington.
Fr. David, OA