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Stewardship Letter 2022


“The reign of God has come near.”

-Jesus, in Mark 1:15

 

“Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.

On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

-Arundhati Roy

 

Dear Members, Friends, and Ministers of Our Saviour’s,

Soon we will begin the season of Advent, a season when we wait expectantly for the coming of Christ and the full arrival of the reign of God. Advent is a time when we face the chasm between the world as it is and the world as we long for it to be – a world in tune with the prophets’ hopes and dreams, a world that Christ proclaimed of abundant life for all.

In some ways, we have already been in a congregational season of Advent over the last year and a half (and more) as we have waited and prayed with longing… for an end to the pandemic, for new pastoral leadership, for a healed democracy, for racial justice, for peace and wholeness in our lives. We continue to dwell in expectant hope of how God might come and bring new life, in and beyond our community.

I write this letter the day after the election. I have heard it said that “a vote is a prayer for the kind of world we want to live in.” I believe that our financial giving is a kind of prayer as well.

As you consider your financial commitment to support our shared ministries in 2023, I invite you to reflect on these questions: how does expectant hope shape my giving? What world do I want to live in? How does our communal gathering around word and sacrament renew my strength, and give me vision and hope for the world I want to see? How does the Spirit inspire me through our gatherings to love others, to know myself as beloved, and to trust that another world is indeed possible, and even on her way?

I wonder where you see glimpses of the reign of God coming near among us? Perhaps in our “Death Our Sister” adult forum series, as we marked the sign of the cross in scented oil on each other’s bodies, practicing how we might bless one another at our time of death. Perhaps as the choir sings in harmony about how we are indeed “the handiwork of God.” Perhaps as our gardeners gave away produce from the community garden to neighbors and worshippers at Our Saviour’s. Perhaps as we continue to lean into reflection and action on reparations to black and indigenous communities. Perhaps as we see our children growing in faith, delighting in music and learnings from day camp, Wilderness Canoe Base, and Sunday worship. Perhaps as we played “loser ball” in outdoor worship and cheered each other on to keep persisting through failures.

Surely, the Spirit is alive and active among us! Our budget supports our outpost of the reign of God at 24th and Chicago in so many ways. Our biggest budget commitment is our staff. In the coming year, we will be in discernment about calling another pastor or deacon to join us in ministry. With this and other potential staff changes on the horizon, your generous giving will shape our capacity for the kind of staffing we can plan for. The reparations team is also proposing that we increase our reparations giving by 1/3. An increase in giving will support our continued work on reparations as we pray for a world repaired and healed.

As we live together in expectant hope in 2023 and beyond, it is your investment of time, talents, and finances, working together with God’s grace, that makes our ministry and mission possible. Our Saviour’s is a generous congregation, and I invite you to continue your support with glad and generous hearts! Enclosed you will find a commitment card, and below you can see a chart that shows current levels of giving. You may also choose to fill out your commitment card online instead of using the enclosed card; visit https://forms.gle/kQgY1qMt1EaqmJxH8 or find the link on our website to do so. 

We will make our financial pledges as an act of worship and commitment on Sunday, November 20. If you would like to discuss the upcoming year’s budget before you make your commitment, please come to one of the Zoom forums on Wednesday, November 16 at 7pm and 9pm. You may find a link to that forum in the weekly update.

Thank you for being the church together. It is such a joy and honor to be your pastor. I thank God for each one of you!

God’s grace and peace,

Pastor Martha 


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