Stewardship Letter from the Dean, 2021
Dear St Peter’s Members and Friends,
With every stewardship season, I find myself reflecting on the previous year in order to ascertain whether we had a good year, or not. This year is no different, and I have concluded that, even with the many challenges we were presented with, we had a great year. Let me share what I found.
Financial - The Cathedral is stable. This is a direct result of your generosity and faithfulness. Whether we were able to worship in-person or virtual, the vast majority of us faithfully found ways to maintain our generous giving, and when needed, even found a way to go even further. Your dedication has set an example for others to imitate.
Worship – Three words stand out: Sacrifice, Patience, and Commitment. When elements of our worship needed to be curtailed over the past year and a half, you engaged the sacrifice with understanding. When our return to a fullness of worship came slowly, you were patient, allowing us to return safely. Throughout the process, you committed, and re-committed, to your life with God at St. Peter’s.
Formation/Fellowship – Throughout 2021 we brought back old ways and engaged new ways to remain connected and to deepen our faith. Wonderful Walks and Holy Hikes joined the return of Coffee Hour and Flipper Sunday. Wonderful Wednesdays was brought back with its family meal together, Adult Study, and Children’s programs, all designed to bolster our fellowship and deepen our faith. Our children’s Sunday School program has expanded and is discovering its way forward to help the next generation know God and follow Jesus. A Children Choir is being planned.
At the end of 2020, I called us forward to embrace the promise of the coming year with excitement and further commitment. And within the restraints of our present-day reality, that is exactly what you did. On top of that, many committed to the Ten-To-Ten group which embraced the track to increase their giving by 10% each year until a biblical tithe is reached for their family. I am now asking that we all re-commit to the life that God is calling us to just over the horizon. Your faithful commitment to our life together is the key element that will paint the picture for 2022.
For the coming year, and the coming years, I believe that God is setting a renewed vision for each of us and for the church as a whole. It is a vision that dates back to our origin on Pentecost where thousands of people saw and heard a group of Jesus followers pour into the street to proclaim a message of Love and the Good News of a life that can be. Through that they embraced God’s mission for themselves by becoming Disciples of Jesus joined together as sacred partners with, and for, God within the world of our day.
This goal brings to us an amazing opportunity for the coming years. It allows us to see ourselves beyond the organizational church in order to embrace, and love, our neighbors and our world by being examples of a better way instead of simply a provider of program services. It changes how we see those outside the church as not simply potential consumers of our product, but as beloved of God needing to be shown the way to wholeness. It challenges us to show what being a Disciple really means by changing ourselves and living the lives that Christ hopes for us. It invites us to embrace our lives, and our interactions within the world, in order to be a reflection of Jesus for all people.
I hope this sounds exciting. It is, and always has been, for me. God is inviting each one of us to faithfully embrace and support our path to becoming, so that we can, through our actions, show the joy and the peace and the purpose that is possible to a struggling world. I hope that we can all embrace that experience and God’s mission more deeply than ever before.
Enclosed you will find a pledge card for 2022 along with a return envelope with which to return it. Your faithful pledge is more than an opportunity to help an organization pay its bills. It is an invitation to live into your Christian identity and to be part of something bigger than ever before. It is an opportunity to personally be something bigger than you have ever been before.
I hope that you will prayerfully embrace your identity as a Disciple and as a faithful steward of God’s blessings, because that understanding will make all the difference for our time.
The Very Rev. Scott Anderson
St. Peter’s Cathedral