Our Pony Express Managers, Kim Boelling and Ed Rahe and me, Pony Express Priest, are getting even more ramped up about our Pony Express Campaign which will get under way on November 12.
Soon each of you will receive a letter personally signed by Kim, Ed and me explaining a bit more about our Pony Express Campaign and the theme of our campaign: GOD IS BLESSING OUR LIVES IN NUMEROUS WAYS AND WE NOW HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS THE GRATITUDE WE FEEL! Please read this letter with all who live in your home and pray about your gratitude to God and how you can best express that gratitude.
In addition, Kim made a map of the areas in which all of the parishioners of St. Paul’s live; and at our meeting last night Kim and Ed divided the parish into six Pony Express Routes with six candidates to be named TRAIL BOSSES. Each Trail Boss will be in charge of a Pony Express Route.
Part of the excitement that Kim and Ed are experiencing is the unique approach of this program to Christian giving. Instead of making pledges, you will be filling in cards on which you “estimate” your giving.
Under the Pony Express plan, each church family/individual becomes a Route Rider, relaying a Saddlebag to one other family/individual in their neighborhood or geographical area. Parishioners who are homebound will not be expected to be Route Riders and other arrangements have been made for their participation in our campaign.
The Trail Boss will be responsible to make sure the Saddlebag keeps moving from home to home at a fast pace on his/her family Route.
On Sunday, November 12 there will be a Pony Express Breakfast for all to attend. At that breakfast the Trail Bosses will be given the Saddlebag for his/her Route.
Kim and Ed have been working hard on our campaign and I am grateful for their dedication.
Father Al Jewson
Our church has chosen an exciting Pony Express program for this year’s financial stewardship campaign, which officially starts Sunday, November 12, when the Pony Express “Run” gets underway. The Pony Express method, used successfully in thousands of other churches nationwide, is styled after the famous Pony Express mail relay system. It relies heavily on team work.
Ed Rahe and Kim Boelling are heading the campaign as General Managers. Under their guidance there will be Trail Bosses, each of whom will oversee a neighborhood PX Route. Each family/individual will be asked to be a Route Rider, relaying a Saddlebag to a nearby family/individual.
You will receive the Saddlebag containing stewardship reading material and your “Estimate of Giving” card. After reading the material, you will want to fill out your card, seal it in an opaque envelope and insert the envelope in the Saddlebag. Then, you will be asked to hand-carry the Bag to the next family/individual on the Route List attached to the Bag Strap.
You will be able to make your decision about your giving to God through St. Paul’s Church in the privacy of your home, without another member of the church present to solicit your response.
The Pony Express theme was chosen because of the example set by the highly dedicated riders of the original Pony Express. In addition to their personal commitment, the secret of their success lay in their ability to work as a team – each rider dependent on the other to make the relay system work and speed the mail onto its next destination.
Likewise, the success of St. Paul’s Church depends on the dedication, commitment, and teamwork of each of our members. Please pray about your gratefulness to God and your commitment to St. Paul’s future.
Father Al Jewson
A while back I attended a weeklong CREDO retreat for clergy. During that retreat the participants were asked to look at four aspects (spirituality, health, vocation, and finances) of our lives from the perspective of God’s abundant gifts to us and how we were to use those gifts for self and family and ministry. The word, “credo” is a Latin word translated, “I believe” and is centered in the Creed we recite at Holy Eucharist. However, in the context of the Creed and the CREDO experience, the word, “credo” is more than assent to and belief in something, for it means I give my self to this; I embrace it with all my heart.
When one combines the principle of “I embrace this with all my heart” with the theology of God’s abundant gifts to oneself, it is impossible to look at self, family, ministry, and even life itself from an idea of scarcity. The theology of scarcity does not embrace the abundance of God’s gifts to each of us and lacks trust in God to provide. The theology of scarcity starts with self and my needs and stays there. It often expands to using my gifts, whether skills or money or time, as a weapon or a bartering tool. One cannot embrace the Good News of Jesus Christ and live out of scarcity. The Good News will settle for nothing less than all my heart, my soul, my mind.
The theology of abundance, on the other hand, looks at God as the provider and giver of all things and seeks to use the gifts we have received from God in the way that reflects the glory of God and for God’s purpose. It is true that we must also consider our personal and family needs in this approach, but it is surprising how readily our personal needs and those of our families are met when our perspective changes from scarcity to God’s abundance.
During the remainder of October and into November we will begin in earnest our Pony Express program for St. Paul’s Church. An important part of the theme of Pony Express depends on our individual willingness to look at our finances, talents, and time from the theology of God’s abundant gifts to us. Your generosity is responding to God’s abundance, reflecting Gods’ presence in your life, and sharing in God’s glory.
~ Fr. Al Jewson
The following are pithy sayings from a variety of Church Signs. Read them and give some thought to each statement.
1. The best vitamin for a Christian is B1.
2. Under same management for over 2,000 years.
3. Soul food served here.
4. Tithe if you love Jesus! Anyone can honk.
5. You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.
6. Beat the Christmas rush, come to church this Sunday!
7. Don’t wait for the hearse to take you to church.
8. We should be more concerned with the Rock Of Ages, instead of the age of rock.
9. Don’t give up. Moses was once a basket case!
10. Come early for a good seat in the back.
11. Life has many choices. Eternity has two. What’s yours?
12. Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due.
13. A man’s character is like a fence. It cannot be strengthened by whitewash.
14. Wal-Mart isn’t the only saving place!
15. Preach the gospel at all times. Use words only if necessary.
16. Delay is preferable to error.
17. It’s hard to stumble when you’re on your knees.
18. What part of “THOU SHALT NOT” don’t you understand?
19. A clear conscience makes a soft pillow.
20. The wages of sin is death. Repent before payday!
21. Never give the devil a ride. He will always want to drive.
22. Can’t sleep? Try counting your blessings.
23. Forbidden fruit creates many jams.
24. May is God’s apology for February.
25. To belittle is to be little.
26. Don’t let the littleness in others bring out the littleness in you.
27. God answers knee mail.
28. Try Jesus. If you don’t like Him, the devil will always take you back.
~ Fr. Al Jewson
From September 12-14 Deacon Dayna and I attended the Fall Clergy Conference, “Planning for Wellness” held at Todd Hall Conference Center in Columbia, Illinois. Representatives from the Church Pension Group led the conference which centered on finances, health, and life. It isn’t often that we clergy have the opportunity to be ministered to and that is exactly what the representatives from the Pension Fund Group did.
In addition to the conference sessions Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer and Holy Eucharist were celebrated incorporating a wide variety of liturgical styles and music. Our prayer time was holy and uplifting. Social time, meals, prayer celebrations and conference sessions made for a jam-packed time that was invigorating and enjoyable. It’s good to be able to spend time with colleagues and just talk about what is going on with each other. For the most part we avoided “church talk” and concentrated instead on family life, children in school, vacations, sports, etc.
Personal wellness was the theme for one of our sessions. “Life Happens” was the title for this part of the conference. Did you know that most clergy tend to be over achievers? Balancing work and leisure time, healthy diet, regular exercise and others were part of the agenda. For many of us it was a wake-up call to self-care. We explored “work/life balance” among other topics. Each participant was given a workbook and at the end of each of our sessions we wrote action plans for continued implementation.
“Life Balance” is something most of us understand but often only give lip service to achieving it. We were reminded to work toward meaningful daily achievements and enjoyment in each of one’s four life quadrants: work, family, friends and self. If you can visualize a large circle and at its center the words “life balance” and joined with that circle are four smaller circles named “family”, “career”, “health” and “friends”. We were reminded that life is a balance of holding on and letting go and willing allowing such to happen.
I share this with you as a reminder that all of us benefit from being reminded that there has to be balance in each of our lives and without that balance our lives become frustrating and unfulfilled.
Deacon Dayna and I certainly plan to continue working on maintaining a healthy balance in our lives and my hope and prayer is that you are able to do the same.
~ Fr. Al Jewson
Rector's Corner posts written by Pastor Rebecca.