“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3.17
St. Matthew’s Family,
This past year-and-a-half has undoubtedly given us reasons to pause and reflect on many things in life, especially those that mean the most to us. What gives it purpose? What are those aspects of it that endure no matter what may come our way? Those answers will vary for each of us, but I have little doubt that ‘family and friends’ would be found near or at the top of the list for most.
It would be an understatement to say that 2021 has been another year that has required of us continual adjustments to, as one of our historic Anglican prayers states, ‘the changes and chances of this fleeting world.’ But there is one thing that I have noticed during my time among you. No matter what may happen, through pandemic and storms and disruptions, the reason St. Matthew’s means so much to so many is that it is home; a place to not only worship our merciful and loving God, but to do so among ‘family and friends’. That is a priceless gift.
What gives all of those valuable and enduring relationships even greater significance and meaning is because of the one who first loved us, who incorporates us into his family, who even calls us ‘friends’, and that is Jesus Christ. Even amidst so much upheaval in our common life these past two years, we can still confidently move forward because we place our hope and trust in the One who will never change or fail us or let us go.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters in Christ, my ‘family and friends’ at St. Matthew’s, may everything we do in word and deed be our song of thanksgiving in response to our Great God. Despite all that has happened, we have been blessed. We have grown. We are healthy. We are moving forward in the Faith as part of the family of Christ. That is what endures. That is what changes and gives meaning to our lives.
May we call to mind these innumerable blessings as we prayerfully consider our commitment in the upcoming year to St. Matthew’s with our time, talent, and treasure. As a parish, we have weathered the storms of these past two years thanks to your generosity and dedication. And now that we are faithfully moving together into this next chapter of our church family’s history, we seek your further involvement to embolden our mission and ministry at St. Matthew’s.
We gratefully acknowledge all of you who have not only fulfilled your pledge commitment for the current year but have even exceeded it. We appreciate the efforts made by so many of you to regularly submit your pledges even by weekly mail! We thank those of our parish family who have resumed their giving within this past year. We also extend an invitation to those who have not given of their financial gifts to step forward in faith and in thanksgiving for our many blessings. You are all vital and needed members of this parish family.
It is only appropriate that we begin this year’s emphasis on our continual stewardship of God’s bounty on St. Matthew’s Day, which we will be commemorating on September 26th. May we rejoice and express our gratitude together during this yearly celebration for all that our Lord has done among this blessed gathering of ‘family and friends’. Also, please note that October 17th will be our Consecration Sunday, and it is on that day that we will come forward to the altar during the services to offer our pledged offering to God for the upcoming year. There will also be a festive coffee hour on that day to recognize our common life together.
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” May this verse from St. Paul be for us far more than a theme for an annual pledge drive. May it be the hallmark of who and what we are as the family of St. Matthew’s; an enduring characteristic of how we live the Faith which is readily visible to all who look at our example.
With Love in Christ,
Rev. Rodney Roehner
To make pledging easy, we are offering an online form, or you can use the pledge card that was mailed. There will be an opportunity at each of our worship services on October 17 to come before the altar and present this pledge card. Alternatively, you can mail it to the church office, or you can email our Parish Manager directly. You can view all of our options online here.
We would ask that you complete your pledge by November 1st, so that we can properly budget for next year.