Good day, Brothers and Sisters.
It is hard to believe that I began the process to offer online or ‘electronic’ giving six years ago! Six years ago, the fear and suspicion of conducting financial transactions on the internet was widespread and palpable. Today this practice is all but ubiquitous. Whatever your opinion about Amazon, they, and other internet vendors, have pushed the banks to develop robust protocols and guarantees to safeguard our transactions. Now, six years later, we have finally arrived!
Thanks to Mary’s hard work, with the consultation of Bob Glick our Treasurer, we are rolling out our own “giving portal.” When you visit our web page you will now find an ‘Online Giving’ tab at the top of the page which will link to our new donation page. This is a secure and safe transaction portal and offers you options to direct your gift to several different Parish Funds. This portal can be valuable even if you regularly tithe by check. If you realized that you did not bring your check or will not be at Church on Sunday, you can easily use the portal to complete your giving. In addition, this portal will be easy to use for one-time givers who, for example, have attended a parish event and wish to contribute.
I did not plan it this way, but I am not surprised by the timing of this long-planned accomplishment. October is the time when we look back at our financial year and faithfully plan for the year to come. The Stewardship of all that we have is the focus of much thought and prayer as we spiritually inventory the multitude of blessings that God has showered upon us. Creator, our Church home, is the spiritual center of our growth in the Body of Christ and the place where we can truly leave the world behind.
There has always been spiritual tug-of-war going on in our hearts and spirits: how the Church serves me vs. how I serve God. St, Paul speaks of this in his Letter to the Corinthians,
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 10:13
Sadly, these last couple of years have stressed Christians everywhere and shown that, without a deep and abiding spiritual focus, that tug-of-war is all too frequently lost. Not so with us! Our strength comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth! (Psalm 121:2) We hear the call of the self and answer with words of Christ: “Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden, and I will refresh you.” (Matt. 11:28) Our feeding is NOT separate from our spiritual growth, but a sub-set of it. Our response to the inward disquietude is not despair or running to a “new” place, or to no place (for we will find once we get there, we are still ourselves), but in recognizing our craving, we seek the manna from heaven—the blessing of God, to feed us and show forth God’s witness to the world!
We will send out Stewardship cards next week for you to pray over and seek God’s blessing. You may return your Stewardship card anytime or wait for our Stewardship Sunday, October 24th.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Peace in Christ,
Father Bill Burk†