Reflections on Sacremental Giving
Dear Emmanuel Brothers and Sisters,
This request for your financial support of Emmanuel Church for calendar year 2016 is offered as a reminder to us all that giving is, in fact, a sacramental act. As the Prayer Book puts it, Sacraments “are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace…” Such Grace, the Outline of the Faith continues, “is God's favor toward us, unearned and undeserved; by grace God forgives our sins, enlightens our minds, stirs our hearts, and strengthens our wills.”
It therefore occurs to me that when we make a promise of financial support for the coming year to our life and work at Emmanuel, we are also making ‘outward and visible signs’ of our experience of God’s favor toward us through the life we share, the worship we offer, and the ways in which we minister in this community and the larger world.
It might even be said that our lovely Church with its door always open and our beautiful Parish House are treasures that are also ‘outward and visible signs’ of the tremendous unearned and undeserved favor God has shown this part of the Body of Christ for the past 172 years.
So, as you consider your commitment to support Emmanuel’s budget for 2015, I invite you to consider your commitment for the sacramental act that it really is. You might even consider joining me and other parishioners in using the next 7 days as an opportunity to pray for Holy Spirit’s guidance about what response to this request is most appropriate for each one of us. The 7 reflections that follow are offered as an aid to your prayers about your gift should you choose to take advantage of this opportunity. These reflections were freely shared with us by a sister congregation with the invitation to adapt and use them for whatever enlightenment and inspiration they might give us.
Giving of Your Time and Talent is also a Sacrament
During this season of making our promises to support Emmanuel financially in 2016, I also ask that you continue to give as sacramentally and as generously of your time and talent as you have in the past. Your generosity and hard work continue to inspire me.
Sunday—November 27th—is Commitment Sunday for 2016. Please bring your enclosed pledge card to Church on that morning. Please, please let us know what you expect you can give next year. With that information, the Vestry can prepare our 2015 budget with integrity.
Most grateful blessings always,
Anne Hallmark, Rector