This year’s season of stewardship has officially ended, but we hope the conversation is just beginning. We have received a substantial number of first-time and increased pledges, a meaningful sign of growth and commitment. And yet there is work to be done to meet our St. George’s 2020 goals. Increasing our total number of pledges to 1,000 households and our budget by $1,000,000 by the year 2020 will require continued focus and intentionality on the part of our parish.
Stewardship will now be a year-round conversation thanks to the addition of Catherine Beemer to the staff as Director of Parish Giving and the church’s plans for more continuity among lay leadership. Instead of thinking about stewardship as something that comes around on an annual basis, we will continue to be encouraged to discuss it throughout the year, and to challenge ourselves to give generously to the church out of our sense of gratitude.
St. George’s always has been and continues to be teeming with generous parishioners who give their time, talents and treasures to the church. We are thankful for those who have pledged financial support to St. George’s for 2018 and for what those dollars enable this parish to do both inside and outside of its walls.
To those of you who were a part of this year’s campaign, thank you. St. George’s is both blessed and a blessing to us all.
From Katie Agnew, Stewardship Chair
From Dyer Rodes
When you give to the church, you're not really giving to the church. You're really giving to God. The church is simply the vehicle through which you give to God.
Who is the source of your wealth? Is it you or is it God? If your answer is you, then you will experience the frustration that comes from a limited source. For there are limits on what a man can do alone. But if your answer is God, then recognize him in the tangible way he requests. When you give him the fruit of your labor, you will experience the peace that comes from knowing God is an unlimited source.
From Leslie Ann Wilson
My parents, Tommy and Carol Ann Wilson, brought me up in a loving Christian home. Mom and Dad naturally taught me lots of things, including the idea that 'you get out what you put in.' They not only expected me to give my all to my school work and activities, but also to our family and our community. As a Christian family, it was important for us to share our time and resources with our church family and with those in need. Growing up in a home like this taught me not only the principal and good practice of 'giving back,' but also I first learned the great personal value and wonderful blessing of 'giving back.' And I learned to give because I wanted to, not out of duty.
We are the folks who are continually blessed by the outstanding clergy, utilize the wonderful St. George's campus, and engage ourselves in this church community. We are called to sustain the church we love with our presence and with our pledges. We must continue the legacy of the parishioners before us and give St. George's the opportunity to continue to grow. Not because we have to, but because we want to make sure that the light shining from St. George's will continue to shine brighter and better.
From Kate Meriwether
Third-generation parishioner Kate Meriwether spoke about her family’s giving to St. George’s, and reflected on how she began giving … one dime at a time from her weekly allowance of $1.
“Now, we don’t just give because of our parents – we give because we are parents,” she said.
During this season of Thanksgiving, Kate invited parishioners to “reflect on what you’re thankful for, and remember that it’s God who provides.”
From Dr. Woosug Kang, Director of Music Ministries
I am blessed to have worked in churches that are healthy and loving communities. However, until now I have never pledged at a church where I worked. I always felt uneasy mixing my work and personal life, so I always looked for other organizations where I could donate my fiscal gifts.
At my job interview, I was impressed with how worship and Christ are the center of everything at St. George's. Music is an amazing gift, and it is also the vehicle for our worship and praising God. St. George's understands its amazing value and I want to be part of that. I pledge at St. George's so the music can be more than just entertainment, but also be the most valuable instrument in praising and worshiping God. What a privilege to be able to share that with you all every Sunday, and also to our younger generations to create a strong future.
From Mike & Angela Reid
Over the last 30 years we have attended St. George’s, we have strived to continue the simple rules we were taught as children. We each grew up in Christian homes where rules and life's plans were simple. Pray daily, attend church, mind your manners, go to school (learn), get a job (earn), and give back to our church, community, and country (return) - learn, earn, return. Simple in concept but oftentimes hard to do.
We seem to spend more of our time and energy on learning and earning but less on returning. Yet we find the most satisfaction in returning our time and talents to God, our church, local communities, charities, and country.... We hope you will consider how you can increase your level of "return." Mom and Dad would be proud!
From Christine Cronk
God is so very generous and has blessed me in so many ways and with so many gifts for which I am extremely thankful ... Each year as I prayerfully contemplate my annual pledge, I recall my dad's unfailing commitment to give back to God some of what God provided to him. I am still striving to be more generous and there is always room for improvement, but giving back a portion of the treasure God has entrusted to me has not only become easier, but is now an integral part of my expression of gratitude and love for God. I encourage those who have not yet incorporated a habit of consistently giving of the treasure God has entrusted to you in your life to take that first step and realize the blessings that will surely come as a result.
From Martin Davis
During our stewardship campaign this year, a number of parishioners will be speaking about their own stewardship and what it means to them and their families. On October 17, Martin Davis asked us to think about the moment when we first gave a gift, and the joy that followed that giving. He recalled an experience from childhood when his parents gave him and his brothers money to put in the collection plate at church. "Though we didn't earn (the money), we received the joy of giving," and thus began the process of giving.
Martin said the decision to pledge is a tangible expression of our gratitude and love to God. When we give to St. George's, we are helping to fulfill the first two commandments by sharing our love for God, while also sharing our love of our neighbors. Giving is "not from obligation, but from love."