Prescott, October 11, 2019 Link to the 2020 Pledge Card
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I’m excited by this year’s stewardship theme, Shining our Light. It comes from the words of Jesus Let our light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. (Mat 5:16)
St Luke’s is a warm, welcoming, and generous congregation, even if we experience some growing pains and disagreements from time to time. But, Sunday after Sunday, in spite of our differences we worship the Lord together, and we are sent to love and serve in Christ’s name, bringing Christ’s light into our community.
We let our light shine through the various ministries of all our Commissions. Building & Grounds made lots of improvements in our property, from taking care of the landscape to changing all the lights of the Church and the Chapel to LED, allowing us to save some money in the future and to help the creation by reducing our consumption of energy. Christian Formation has seen the recreation of Adult Formation with the launching of several new programs to help us deepen our faith and our spiritual practices. The Children and Youth ministries have a vibrant Sunday School program; once again in June we hosted a Vacation Bible School who allowed 38 children from St Luke’s and the community to have fun when learning about Jesus; 10 youth went to San Diego on a Mission Trip serving the poor. Fellowship is helping us to extend our hospitality to all of us and to our guests. Membership organized several New-Comers luncheons, a Time and Talents survey, the Welcome Table, and very recently our traditional Elder Appreciation Sunday., and so much more! Communications worked hard to keep our website updated, making our presence more visible in the community, and promoting our different events. Worship through its various ministries allows us and our visitors to have a great worship experience. Pastoral Care made many visits to people in need in the hospitals, nursing places, homes; communion was offered to our home-bounds on; the sacrament of unction was administered to those who were about to die; a new grief support group allows those who mourn to find help and support. Outreach has been very busy identifying new needs and working to help people in our community, our country and abroad, the Food Pantry and Just Coffee are two wonderful new ministries. I can’t list in this letter all the ministries supported by Outreach, nor the many other ministries offered at St Luke’s, I invite you to visit our Website to discover them.
St Luke’s is a wonderful community striving to serve Christ and our neighbor, we are really trying to make the light of Christ shine in our community. Nothing that is happening, nothing that we do, would have been possible without the amazing generosity of so many of our members! In 2019, 209 individuals and families pledged $527,712.24, and year to date 85 other people gave $45, 386 to the plate. Thank you! My hope is that even more people are going to pledge in 2020 allowing us to strengthen what we do, serve more people and make Christ’s light shining even brighter. I still have this wonderful dream of 100% pledgers! What an amazing message that would be!
Why pledge? This is our concrete and spiritual way to give back to God through the ministry of St Luke’s. We intellectually know that all we have comes from God, and that we are only the stewards of God’s gifts. Pledging is a way to acknowledge this concretely. We pledge not out of duty, but out of love. We pledge not out of scarcity, but out of abundance. Pledging faithfully, pledging sacrificially, always brings spiritual peace to the giver. Pledging transforms us and makes us even more generous.
When and how to pledge? We are all invited to bring back our pledge card on November 3 and 4, as we celebrate All Saints Day. We will gather and bless the cards at the offertory during the 3 services, and will say together: All things come of thee, O LORD, and of thine own have we given thee. (1Chro 24:14) If you can’t attend church, you can send you card by mail, or pledge online through our Website. We will also present and bless these pledges, of course.
How much to pledge? Only you are able to determine how much you want to give back to God through the ministries of St Luke’s. The first step is always to pray and ask for God’s guidance. The biblical norm is the tithe, 10% of one’s income. This is a spiritual sacrifice made out of love for the Lord and love for the church, and it might seem scary or crazy at first. But all tithers agree that they receive in return a great and lasting spiritual peace.
However, we are not all at the same level of giving, and we need to start somewhere. It’s why there is a simple chart of proportional giving on the back of your pledge card. I hope it will help you to identify where you stand as a giver, and what you want and can do. Pray about it, and remember that no gift is too small to God, and no gift is too large to God!
If you are already a pledger, may I ask you to prayerfully consider increasing your level of giving by 1 or 2% this year?
If you give to the plate, may I ask you to prayerfully consider transforming your giving into a pledge?
If you are not a giver yet, may I encourage you to take a leap of faith and become a pledger?
Be sure that your pledge given in thanksgiving for the blessings you have received will make a difference in helping St Luke’s to pursue its mission to know Christ and make Christ known.
From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for being part of St Luke’s family and for supporting this wonderful Christian community.
May the Lord bless you and yours,
Pierre-Henry Buisson, Rector