St Nicholas Is A Special Place: Fall Stewardship Campaign Begins

It was quite early on a Wednesday morning, around 5:15am that the fog had blanketed the entire area.  I drove, carefully and slowly while others who obviously were in a greater hurry than I sped past.  The entire trip was an adventure.  The sun had not risen and with the fog, it was still quite dark.  Mind you, I’ve been driving for 43 years and feel like I have pretty good control of what to do behind the wheel.  Yet, the fog on that particular Wednesday morning sort of got the better of me.  The truth is that I’ve been in a bit of an ’emotional fog’ of late.  Darkness is not just an element of the external world but can very much dwell within, too.

And as fate would serve, as I exited Rt. 53 and onto Biesterfield Road did the fog finally and fittingly clear.  The sun was burning the fog away and such beautiful and welcoming beams of light now guided me toward my desired destination.  As I pulled into the driveway of St. Nicholas, the entire building was bathed in such a warm, mellow glow…I was home.

All houses of worship are special.  Our church is certainly no different and we would all concur…St. Nicholas is a special place.  It is where we gather to give our thanks to the Lord and to share the gifts of the Sacraments of the Church, in particular, Holy Communion; the body and blood of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus the Christ.  Our church is not just a building.  No, it is far more than that.  True it is that our facility consists of brick, mortar, steel and glass.  However and graciously so, our church is sealed, sanctified and protected through the grace and power of the Holy Spirit.

As the season of summer slowly fades into history and autumn is all but born, we prepare ourselves for our annual St. Nicholas Stewardship Campaign.  Certainly with prayer and optimism, it is my fondest hope that all of us ponder, pray upon and consider how each of us can best assist our church, our spiritual home to not just survive, but to grow, blossom and flourish.  Please, if there are questions or concerns regarding Stewardship, do not hesitate in inquiring.  I will do my best to assist or direct you to our ‘financial team’ which will best provide you the information requested.

For the next several weeks articles will be posted in News from Nick that will provide us both spiritual and practical explanations regarding the importance and need for our yearly, Stewardship Campaign. Talking finance is never an easy nor comfortable subject.  Yet, as we all manage our household accounts, so too do we care for our church home as we do our best at managing and maintaining our finances.  Each of us has our own set of circumstances which allows us to do what we can.  Please know this, I appreciate and understand that we all provide as we are able; whether we share financially, with our volunteering at church or engaging in the many ministry opportunities.  No one thing is more important than the other.  What matters most is we are part of this family of faith and we gather to worship, to give thanks and praise and to receive Jesus in the Holy Communion.  When we come together as a community of faith, as a church family, this, my sisters and brothers is what brings me true joy and peace.

In advance, please know, my dear and loving sisters and brothers just how much I appreciate and treasure each member of our church family.  The prayers, the support, the sacrifices made for the betterment of our church and for God’s greater glory never ceases to both amaze and humble me.  From my heart to yours, God bless and Thank You, one and all.

Annual Stewardship Campaign: How To Do It (Squirming Not Required)

Late into summer the days are shorter and the nights are blessedly cooler and much, more comfortable. The kids have ‘joyfully’ returned to school. College football is back. Department stores already have Halloween, Thanksgiving and even some Christmas decorations out on the shelves. “Time and tide waits for no one,” or so did say St. Marher in the year of our Lord, 1225. Or, was it Goeffrey Chaucer in his “The Prologue to the Clerk’s Tale” of 1368? Regardless, some one said it and it fits.

At St. Nicholas, it is time for us to begin the conversation about Stewardship.

We, as a community, have been extraordinarily and graciously generous. This community of faith, our St. Nicholas Church family understands the need for financial support in order for us to continue to provide ministry and worship both within and outside the church. The kindness shown St. Nicholas by each member allows us to keep the lights on, heat and air to keep us comfortable and safe, make necessary repairs and improvements, grow our gardens for the greater glory of God, purchase the necessary items needed at worship and helps to keep our food pantry shelves stocked. And yes, our generosity helps finance our staff’s salary. We are exceptionally fortunate that the Support Groups that call St. Nicholas home continue to share their bounty with us as well. Their generosity helps defray some of the cost of utilities and other such expenses.

Finances are a very personal matter. It is a delicate and sensitive subject. Truthfully, it makes us all squirm a bit and personally, I do not feel comfortable bringing up the subject. Nonetheless, it is a necessary and important conversation that must be had. Without the financial support of our church family, we would be unable to accomplish all that we do.

We will begin our Annual Stewardship Campaign in early October. I ask us all to pray, to discern and to think about how we can continue to help and support our church. Let us all consider how best we can create a healthy and vibrant house of worship. There are various way to pledge to the church. This will all be explained with inserts and articles in upcoming editions of News From Nick and mailings. Please; it is not our intention to burden any one. We ask that we all give, as we can and what we can. Time shared in ministry and volunteering, along with the sharing of talent for the betterment of others is just as important as the financial, “bottom dollar.” All that is received helps us to not just exist, but to grow stronger and healthier. Any questions, concerns or thoughts, please do not hesitate in approaching any one of our finance team members, (Bob Kalicki, Ray Malecek and me) we’re here to help and assist as best we can.

“Therefore I say unto you, What things, soever you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.”
Mark 11: 24

In advance, thank you everyone for your consideration, your thoughtfulness and your willing generosity.

Amen.

manny@stnicholasepiscopal.org

Manny

Father Manny150