This coming Sunday (November 24) has been designated as the Sunday for the ingathering of pledges.
This is simply a deadline (because so many of us need one) to turn in our financial commitments to the church. I also like to gather those pledges in on a particular Sunday to include them in the offering during worship. Those we have received will be put together in an envelope and carried to the front along with the bread, wine, and weekly offering.
Many of you have already responded by mail or by dropping your cards in the offering plate. Thank you so much. Those commitments represent our life and labor, much like the tangible money offerings we make through the year. To those of you who have made your commitment and to those of you who are still considering yours, let us pray:
Most gracious God, we give you thanks for every good gift we have received through the bounty of your love. Guide us along the path of giving that binds us together and connects us with you, the great Giver. Creator and Sustainer of the world, accept our stewardship of time, talent, and treasure for the work of your Church, so that in every act of mercy and justice we are acting as conduits of your love. Everything we are and everything we have comes as a gift from your gracious hand—a gift which continues to renew us. Teach us again and again that our sharing of divine gift does not diminish our life in terms of possessions, but instead enhances our life in terms of blessings and grace. Send out your Holy Spirit to fill us with a sense of holy generosity, that we, as your Body of Christ, may bring the light of your eternal love in the darkness of a broken world. In thanksgiving for our life and for the life of St. Stephen’s parish, we give glory to you, Lord God, the Source of all being, to Jesus Christ, Eternal Word, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever. AMEN.
P.S. I will meet with high school students in their classroom during Discovery time on Sunday.