“Remember the words
of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said,
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
This year’s stewardship theme is Journey to Generosity. We are writing our annual Stewardship letter deeply grateful to God and to our St. Peter’s community for the amazing step forward in this journey we have seen in response to the Building Crossroads Capital Campaign. As our annual Stewardship Ingathering Sunday on November 19th approaches, it is time for us to set Crossroads aside for a few weeks and focus on our annual giving, which is the fuel that runs the engine of all that we at St. Peter’s are able to do.
“Blessing” is a tricky word to translate into English. It is more than an emotion or a reward. In faith, it is a promise of Christ’s presence. When St. Paul said these words to Christian leaders from Ephesus, he was reminding them that God’s presence is found in acts of giving. This means that a journey to generosity is a journey to a deeper awareness of Christ’s presence with us. After all, Jesus’ whole life is a generous gift of God for our well-being.
We have learned this again and again at St. Peter’s as we continue to grow in generosity. The more we are able to give, the more we find the blessing of God’s presence. We are grateful for your personal sacrificial gifts that carry us onward in this journey.
Through your generosity, volunteers come together to serve meals; tutor children; welcome the homeless; make music to the glory of God; share in preparing for and leading worship; lovingly care for buildings gifted to us by our forebears through their own generous undertakings; welcome the newly baptized; compassionately commend our departed brothers and sisters into Christ’s eternal embrace; pray for and support one another in times of need; and grow in our understanding of our faith. Each of these actions is not simply an action, but the work of our mission to be Christ’s hands and heart at the crossroads of Freehold.
We have seen how true it is that when we work together around a shared vision, God abundantly blesses the work!
Even more, we have learned that when we are generous, the larger community we touch responds with generosity. From donations to the Thrift Shop and food and shelter programs, to community volunteers joining us in our service, and even the receipt of spontaneous financial gifts, we have seen that our neighbors want to be a part of what we do as well.
This year’s stewardship speakers from the congregation have shared their journey to generosity through our community life. Each week, our speakers represent a different aspect of giving while sharing the same faith and passion for what we are able to do at St. Peter’s. You can review this videos in our website at stpetersfreehold.org/stewardship. We hope these videos will inspire you as you reflect on God’s presence in your life and ways that God might be calling you onward in this journey as you prayerfully discern your pledge for 2018.
You can use the enclosed percentage giving chart and steps to discern your pledge to determine what you will be able to give for 2018. Journeys are completed by a series of single steps. Would you consider a new step forward wherever you are on this journey to generosity?
After the service, we will celebrate God’s abundance with a pot-luck brunch in the Parish Hall. If you cannot join us on November 19th, you can use the enclosed envelope to mail your card in and we will add it to the others for ingathering Sunday.
Whether the next step in our Journey to Generosity is large or small, what matters is that we seek to give generously out of what God has given us. The act of striving transforms our lives, and the joining of our gifts together, transforms our community as a whole.
If you have any questions about your gift, Father Dirk or any member of the Stewardship Team will be happy to speak with you. Thank you for all that you do, and above all, thank you for the generosity of your fellowship with us.
St. Peter’s Stewardship Team
The Rev. Dirk C. Reinken, Rector
Susan Jane Story