Message from the Stewardship Chair

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As the Stewardship Chair, I thought it important to share my story. Over the years, we’ve tried to increase our giving. It hasn’t always been systematic or proportional.  The following is failure on both parts.

In September of 2012, I went back to work.  The timing coincided with a stewardship campaign.  Before I could get use to spending this new income stream and instead of trying to inch up to 10%, I decided that for this income I would start out at 10%. The stewardship message had taken root and it wasn’t just the percentage.  I wanted to write the check weekly to prove, to someone, that I was thinking about God.   I became obsessed with writing a check on a weekly basis.  This was no easy feat for me.  You see, since my job was part time, my income varied from week to week. Additionally, I was paid once every two weeks.  I didn’t receive a pay stub in the mail. I had to log on to a payroll site and remember my user name and password. Further undermining my efforts was the fact that my office had the worst WiFi reception in the entire house.

Each week, I found myself making a mad dash up the stairs, to log on to the website, move the decimal, divide by two, write the check and make it out the door to get to church on time.  All this was for the purpose of putting something, however symbolic, in the plate.

The idealistic stewardship moment that I had envisioned of me writing a check with a cheerful heart, over a cup of coffee, while pondering God’s numerous blessings never happened – not once. In fact, I grew so frustrated with the self-imposed process that I only actually wrote 3 checks.

I had become a Pharisee.  I placed more emphasis on the check writing than the check giving. Despite using auto pay for almost all our bills, I didn’t auto pay God.  Somehow I thought that auto pay meant I wasn’t honoring God, thinking about God, on a weekly basis.

Which is ironic, because while auto pay relieves me of due dates and late fees, it also frees up my time so that I can spend it on something else, like time in communion with God.  Writing a check was actually a way for me to resist systematic giving because I could always stop writing checks. Although I set out to act, to give, on a weekly basis, my heart was still giving out of convenience.

If you have mastered checking writing, this is not an indictment of you and your practices. Keep doing what you’re doing.  But if you, like me, need a little help in giving systematically, consider the modern methods like Tithely. Don’t confuse a convenient method of giving with giving out of convenience.

But it wasn’t just in systematic giving that I fell short, there was also the proportional giving.

Yes, I was giving 10% of my new salary, but I had stopped writing checks.  10% of zero is still zero. Again I was behaving like a Pharisee. I had placed more importance on moving the decimal than giving generously as called. While my income did vary week to week, the variance was not enough to make a huge difference in setting a weekly check.  And if it did, I could make adjustments on a quarterly or yearly basis. I do get sent a statement. By moving the decimal point, I was giving exactly what was required, not what was generous. Not one penny less, but not one penny more. My one penny, your one nickel, our collective dimes might affect a budget, but my one penny could never make or break God’s financial plan. But more importantly, I don’t think my relationship with God will grow, if it comes down to pennies.

The point of the giving worksheet is to spend time assessing your financial position; assessments that are honest, prayerful, and accurate.  In two weeks, when we fill out our pledge cards, we shouldn’t be focused on decimals or check writing. Our focus should be how our small steps up are actually giant leaps in our walk with God.

Some of you may be wondering, if I only wrote 3 checks, what happened to the rest of my pledge.  Tune in next week to find out the rest of the story.  A story sadly called,  “The Time I Stiffed God.”  Amen

Praise and Poetry- Haiti Mission Trip Fundraiser 2017

By | Called to Serve, Charitable Giving, Community, Stewardship, Uncategorized, Worship | No Comments

Join us on the evening of Friday, June 16th at 6:00PM for a wonderful evening of praise and poetry! Come celebrate our “community of love” as we offer songs, prayers, words, and scriptures that lift up the spirit of our mission and ministry with our brothers and sisters at St. Benoit in Mombin Crochu, Haiti. Words of Poetry will be offered by  our very own, Carol Reposa,recently named 2018 Poet Laureate of Texas, and local poet, Harold Rodinksy. Fr. Ram will also offer poetry and reflections.   All will be led in song and praise by Keith and Shannon Earle as we lift up the power of God’s music in song in our lives singing of the journey that calls us into mission and what it means to be a “community of love”.  Join with us this night and celebrate the upcoming trip to Haiti, where Fr. Ram Lopez, Keith Earle, and Greg Merritt will be present at St. Benoit for the dedication of the new worship space this July 11th.  Greg Merritt will also have some of his beautiful Haitian photography for purchase in the narthex.  This and all offerings taken during the event are in support of the Haiti Mission Trip happening in July. Click here to contribute before the event. Thank you to everyone who has helped already as we are on our way to raising our goal of $5,000.  Every dollar counts, and no offering is too small. 

Summer of Service 2017

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Summer of Service is back at St. George! For the months of June, July, and August, we will focus on The Good Samaritan Center, backpacks & school supplies for students in need, and our own St. George Community in-house ministries.

First up is The Good Samaritan Center. We will be creating care packages for the Good Samaritan Campers attending Camp Capers. Below is a list of suggested items you can contribute to help make up care packages for the 4 different age groups (3rd-5th grade, 6th-7th grade, 8th-9th grade, and 10th-12th grade). You can bring these supplies in anytime through June 25th and drop it off in a collection box in the Narthex or in the Leadership Center.

  • Playing cards/small games
  • Journals/pens
  • Flashlights
  • Small, personal fan (camp gets hot!)
  • Stickers
  • Small coloring books (adult and children’s)
  • Mad-libs
  • Books
  • Water bottles
  • Disposable Cameras (both the regular and underwater)
  • Written notes
  • Lotion
  • Hand Sanitizers

Other fun toys and gadgets: fidgets, yo-yo’s, etc…

*NOTE: food is not allowed due- to the critter issue it could cause

 

CAM Volunteers Thank the St. George Community

By | Called to Serve, Community, Stewardship | No Comments

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, the Holy Spirit moved powerfully among members of St. George Church and School as we assembled 15 Dinner Boxes for families in need. The Beta Club, under the leadership of Keith Earle, had sorted hundreds of items to hasten the process. Offering this food enabled inner city clients of Christian Assistance Ministry (CAM) to celebrate our nation’s precious sense of optimism, our faith in God and our gratitude for living in this wonderful country.

Together we provided whole turkeys, a wide range of canned fruits and vegetables, soup mix and cereal, loaves of bread and a pumpkin pie. Our clients, who often waited hours to see whether they would qualify, responded with tears of relief and joy—along with the knowledge that they were lovingly remembered.

Your CAM volunteers feel blessed to have your generous, enthusiastic support as we work together to help those less fortunate.

Gratefully,

Carol Molina, Paul Carr, Paul Warner, Stella and David Silva, Andy and Marti Nodine