October 09, 2019 | Stewardship | Reflections by Chet Logan
Why we support All Saints’.
As we approach a new stewardship year, here are some thoughts about All Saints’. When my wife and I decided to move to All Saints’ some twelve years ago, we knew we had found the right spiritual home.
First, there was the clergy. I can still see the image of Father Tim standing in the sacristy door, waving us in when we arrived in the parking lot and did not know which door to enter. We knew this was a welcoming place. His homilies set the right tone for our spiritual needs. Next came Mother Yejide with her powerful sermons to challenge us. And then there was our old friend, Deacon Ann, in a new role. We already knew about her pastoral skills, but her preaching came as a great new surprise.
Early on we were impressed to discover the spiritual commitment of the congregation. Particularly, we were challenged by small groups of parishioners, who met and engaged in open discussions of their thoughts and doubts. The Books and Bagels group comes to mind in this respect, where we have read many books together, and discovered challenges in our own lives and in the world around us. The Sunday morning education hour has also introduced us to some amazing fellow travelers who are not shy about expressing their own thoughts and questions. These groups have not resolved all problems in our spiritual lives, but have raised our awareness vividly, and helped us find our own way.
All Saints’ commitment to great religious music is a major asset of the Parish. Because of our preference for the elegant language of Rite One at the 8:00 o’clock service, we have missed the benefit of music and are able to hear it only at occasional special services. One of these was the recent All Saint’s annual combined service, when we heard the choir with both organ and piano accompaniment, which we greatly appreciated.
Yes, it is a wonderful parish, but it is not inexpensive. Who will pay for it? Not the Diocese, which requires our financial support. Not the endowment, which is very slim. The answer, of course, is we must pay for it. Just as parents must support their children, so must parishioners support their parish.
How much? One guideline is the tithe. It is only a guideline. Each of us must think carefully about what the Parish means to us and come up with our own number, depending on our own circumstances, weighed against our own experience in the Church.