Saturday, November 5, 2011

Season of harvest, season of giving

You may have noticed that the St. Paul's Memorial Church website has undergone a redesign recently with easy-to-use tabs that will take you to interesting places. The website is still a work in progress, and suggestions are welcome. Great thanks goes to Simeon Fitch for designing and maintaining it for many years, and to Bruce Carveth for the latest reincarnation. You can see the new homepage by clicking HERE.

This is the season of harvest and giving, and we are blessed by an amazing Giving Team. The team has revamped their corner of the website, and I highly recommend you have a look by clicking HERE, and be sure you scroll all the way to the bottom.

I am especially taken by a series of statements by some of our members about why they give, and they've entitled their page "How St. Paul's Changes Lives." You can read these short statements by clicking HERE.

Last Saturday's Stewards' Dinner was delightful, entertaining and fun, and more than 200 people attended. Thanks goes to many people led by Virginia Ritchie and Gwynn Crichton.

Please pray and consider how you can be a part of this amazing congregation with your financial support. All that we have, all that we do is God's. We are given a portion of God's abundance for the time we are on earth. How will you use yours to build God's Kingdom and leave the world a better place for your having been here?

You can make a pledge to St. Paul'sby filling out a card on Sunday, or you can go on-line to make a pledge by clicking HERE. We will bless all of our financial pledges at tomorrow's All Saints Sunday worship.

For the past several Sundays in our 10 am worship, we've heard a number of testimonials from St. Paul's people about what touches them the deepest about their parish and why they give.

All of them have been wonderful, and so I would like to leave you here with one, from Jonathan Schnyer:

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My name is Jonathan Schnyer and I have been attending St. Paul’s since 1996. It is the first and only church I have attended. 
The best way to explain how much St. Paul’s means to me is to recount a few of the countless, extraordinary experiences I have had here. 
Early on, looking into the loving, kind and Christ centered eyes of the woman who was to become my godmother—Betty McLernon. 
Being baptized at St. Paul’s in 1998 and confirmed a few months later. 
Attending the funeral of Art Greene and hearing Art’s challenge “Life is only worth living if you give it away.” 
Cooking thousands of pancakes, and mountains of spaghetti, always hoping Betsy Poist would have time to help me wash the dishes. 
Working with 22 members of St Paul’s, alongside Hondurans who had lost their homes in Hurricane Mitch, helping build their new community called Ameriteca. 
Celebrating the eucharist on cemetery hill on the Gettysburg battlefield, hearing Bill Bergen give a homily about his conscientious objection during the Vietnam war. 
Playing rowdy games of Gargoyles, in the Nave, at midnight, with my kids and many of St. Paul’s youth. 
Hanging sheetrock in the home of an 80 year old gentleman from Long Beach, MS whose FEMA trailer had been taken away, four years after Katrina flooded it. 
At Shrine Mont, Hiking North Mountain and telling little white lies to help encourage tired hikers--“that was the most difficult part of the trail; it’s just a few hundred more feet.” 
Watching the thoughtful, prayerful, thorough, and RIGHT process of a community taking positive steps in the direction of marriage equality. 
And Just a few months ago, at the ripe old age of 50, getting married to my wannabe high school sweetheart, in a ceremony rich in music, in the word of God, and surrounded by more love than I ever could have imagined. 
These experiences have truly transformed me—from an atheist Jew who used to wince upon hearing “Jesus’ name—to a man who is blessed with many, many examples of what Christians ought to be doing in the world. 
What more can I say—only at St. Paul’s.

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