By Dave Eitland with the Stewardship Ministry Team
The awesome task that the Team has in educating the Parish is to ask the question this season, “What are you grateful for?”
God is the source of all things. God’s audacious and infinite generosity gives all things to us as creatures of God’s making, brothers of Christ, and disciples powered to do ministry by the Spirit.
At one of his first training events, The Rt. Rev. Whayne M. Hougland, Jr., our Bishop, said one of the things that we as a diocese should do is wake every morning and list out in prayer and gratitude the 15 things that we are thankful for as gifts from God. He said that walking into the day with an attitude of thanksgiving will set the tone of our day.
This fall the stewardship ministry theme is “Growing in Grace.” The parish’s leadership, the vestry, the finance committee, the staff and the stewardship team, are reading “Bounty: Ten Ways to Increase Giving at Your Church” by Kristine Miller and Scott McKenzie. These authors helped us develop our task this season. They state that stewardship is a journey that is grounded in gratitude, revealed in prayer, and lived in faith.
The Stewardship Team will be lifting up to the Parish a vision of giving that grows over time and results in a faith commitment as a disciple of Christ. It will be based in prayer, example, devotions, storytelling, information, and activities.
September 21st is celebrated around the planet as World Gratitude Day. During the worship weekend of September 20 & 21, we will be asking people to fill out a simple card that reflects things that you are thankful for.
From daysoftheyear.com :
Gratitude Day is celebrated annually on the 21st September. The celebration of Gratitude Day allows both individual citizens and organizations within wider society to celebrate the broad meaning of gratitude in a variety of ways.
The celebration started in 1965 in Hawaii when an international gathering decided that it would be a good idea to have one day per year to formally express gratitude and appreciation for the many wonderful things to be found in the world. Following the meeting in Hawaii, many attendees marked Gratitude Day on 21st September,1966 when back in their own countries. Ever since then, the number of people celebrating Gratitude Day across the world has grown and grown.
The awareness of the benefits of having time in one’s life for gratitude, appreciation and positive reflection have become increasingly apparent. The hope of the founders of Gratitude Day is that by taking time, one day a year, to reflect on the many amazing things we have in our lives, it would positively impact our well-being and make us happy.
As part of our offering that weekend, we ask you to think and pray about what you are grateful for, list these things on the card you received in the mail and give thanks to the Lord. We hope to use these in telling our collective story of gratitude. (Your signature is optional.)
In all things, let us be grateful for all that God has given us.