From the Rev. Chuck Jones
A New Era at the Cathedral and a New Meaning to Stewardship
I’m sure everyone is delightfully aware of the new energy and enthusiasm at the Cathedral that is being ushered in by Dean Kristi. It’s an exciting and vibrant time to be here and we are already seeing developments in all areas, especially in Christian formation – youth, children, young families and adults. Also, our connections with the downtown community through outreach are strengthened. And of course, our liturgy and music are exemplary and remain one of our primary forms of evangelism.
Entwined within this new vision is our continued call to be faithful stewards of our shared mission of building up the body of Christ. The ministries mentioned above are how we respond to the call to love God, our neighbor, ourselves, and to respect the dignity of every human being. This is what it means to be faithful stewards of the bounty God has given us.
Stewardship includes all ministries. And we are reminded that all we have belongs to God. It is our job to “be fruitful and multiply” and then return our bounty back to God. This is how it works in God’s kingdom. And sometimes it’s a challenge to understand that all we have does not actually belong to us… it belongs to God and we are the stewards of God’s gifts.
The month of October gives us time to consider in prayer Dean Kristi’s call to recognize that “now is the opportunity and a calling to build on the wonderful things the Cathedral already offers, and to enhance our mission and build for the future.”
Over the next four weeks, you will receive information about pledging to the Cathedral for 2020. We will send you mailings, have parishioners give witness to pledging each Sunday, and of course, and our lectionary gives us readings that conveniently provide fodder for stewardship.
All this will point toward November 3rd when we will celebrate the feast of Christ the King, and many new things will begin; most especially a new Sunday schedule of three services at 8:00, 9:15, and 11:00 (don’t forget to ‘fall back’ and re-set your clocks!).
Also, November 3rd will be our Ingathering and Consecration Sunday, when we will come forward and place our pledge cards on the altar to be blessed at the Eucharist.
Stewardship considers giving of time, talent and treasure, as we all know. All three are gifts we have received from God and we are called to return them throughout the year.
At this time of year however, we focus especially on the financial gifts we have received and what portion of those gifts we are called to return to God through the mission of this Cathedral. For us to sustain and increase our earthly mission, these ministries must be funded.
Last year, during a conversation with our Senior Warden, Charlie Hawkins said that his approach to giving is mission based: “I give through the Cathedral to the mission of the Cathedral.”
True, it is a mistake to focus our giving solely on budget and numbers, however, to be responsible stewards of all our ministries as well as the maintenance of staff and facilities, it is incumbent upon us to recognize our mission includes all things at the Cathedral and each comes with a commensurate expense. And after all, Jesus talked most about the Kingdom of God, and right after that, Jesus talked more about money than anything else.
In Matthew 6:19-21 we hear one of Jesus’ most powerful statements concerning how to handle our wealth: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
At the 9:15 Sunday Forum, we will examine different ways of giving and how giving to the Church is distinct from other forms of giving such as charity, philanthropy and fund-raising. Bring your thoughts, ideas and questions. It should be a lively and informative discussion.