Why I PledgeGeorge Fuller shared his view on Stewardship during worship on Sunday, October 16, 2011.
I’ve been asked to tell you why I make my annual pledge to St. Matthew’s Parish. “Why do I give you my money?” Why do I do that?
Of course, the thing that comes first to mind was the care, commitment, and love you gave KC and to me over these last long 10 years. St. Matthews wrapped it’s arms around us from beginning to the end. That thing can never be repaid; there’s simply no accounting for it. We would not have made it through those times without you. If ever you have such a tragedy, the St. Matthew's family will surely wrap you in its arms just as tightly.
Sadly, some of you already know this is true.
By the way, though, we’ve been your friends and fellow parishioners for 25 years – not just 10. Over those years, before succumbing to the horrid Alzheimer’s plague, KC taught Sunday school; she taught a bible study class with David Graybill; she was in the choir; she was a LEM, served on the Vestry, she was in Weavings; she made 100’s of Christmas crafts with Becky. She considered all of these things gifts to her. It gave her deep happiness to do them.
I’ve done a few things too – and in hindsight, these have been gifts to me, for the opportunity to share my time with you.
Additionally, you’ve helped raise our kids. You’ve taught them in our wonderful Sunday School, you have confirmed them into the church; you have sent them off to Norwalk, to Maine and to Washington DC to learn how to help where help is needed. You put them in plays, in concerts and other events to help give them confidence in themselves, and to make friendships which survive today . . . and to learn the value of cooperation in all these things.
You trusted my teenaged daughter, Lauren, to teach Sunday school herself, along with Steph, Bets, and Mary! This was a great gift to her. David has become a gifted teacher and advisor in military, industrial and education IT programs, I think, in some part these teaching skills are due to the teaching he got here.
In addition to all this, you have blessed our dog, two cats, several birds and a tankful of fish to keep all of them safe in God’s hands.
We have been given the inspiration and joy of listening to Rodney’s music and to his wonderful choir – week after week after week. Arts at St. Matthews? Tonight’s Brubeck concert is another gift from you to me. We have been “friended” by all of you – the uncounted fellowship events you provide – from the coffee hour, to the Taste of St. Matthew's, the Clambake, the summer picnic, the auction and many others.
You’ve given me this beautiful space to share with you – you keep it warm in the winter, cool in summer – the lights always turn on. You’ve given me that tree back there – a wonderful pleasure every single Sunday in all seasons.
WEPCO is amazing! – things work. The Vestry, Steve’s outreach group, Chris’ financial husbandry – and all the other committees are gifts beyond counting. They work so hard to make this parish work for me and count in our community – so I want to give back to them too.
Bryan and Glenn’s stewardship efforts with their group deserves special attention – it’s tough to go around asking people to give you their money!
Finally, you have given me Mary Grace, and Richard and Rob to teach me about the day-to-day application of the Gospels -- and they give me bread and wine every Sunday!
So, in a very real sense, you are my family, and just in the way I give to my Fuller family when needed, I give to my St. Matthew's family. . . Amen!