The Need Of The Giver

by The Rev. Dr. Jason L. Parkin, Rector

Many years ago, a stewardship slogan floated around the Episcopal Church that still rings true today:  "The need of the giver to give is greater than the need of the Church to receive." 

Yes, it is true that Holy Comforter needs financial support. There are lights to keep on, ministries to support, educational opportunities to strengthen, outreach opportunities to embrace, salaries to pay, and on and on.  Contrary to what some might believe, we do not receive any support from the government or the Diocese or the national Episcopal Church-in fact, quite the opposite-and we do not have a particularly large endowment that underwrites our many programs and offerings.  But even with all that said, the simple spiritual truth is that our need as individuals and families to give generously, sacrificially, in proportion to our income, is greater still than the parish's needs.

The fact that Jesus himself talked so much about the importance of faithful stewardship indicates that he, too, was convinced that a person's need to give was a significant dimension in their spiritual life and relationship to God.  He saw what inordinate valuing of money could to do a person's soul, how a self-centered focus could enslave an individual's entire personality.  Jesus saw it and was moved by it again and again; and he spoke out about the danger involved in the use of money and other resources.  16 of his 38 parables are about stewardship, and one-tenth of all gospel verses are about money and possessions. 

You will soon be receiving materials concerning our annual pledge campaign.  Please don't just skip over the information contained in these materials.  Please read the information carefully, and pray about the ways in which God is calling you to respond to God's generosity.  This fall, as we engage in our annual stewardship campaign, we all have the opportunity to take stock of our priorities, our level of faith and trust in God, the extent of our freedom from or bondage to money and the things of this world, and the well-being of our souls.  In the face of all God has done for us-in the light of the cross and the empty tomb, and the peace that passes all understanding-let us respond responsibly, making certain that our pledge is a true indication of our faith in the One who has given us all that we have, including life itself, now and eternally.