This Sunday we will celebrate Christ the King. When I think about King’s I think about old white guys with crown of gold on their head (as shown). But with Jesus, we have a king of a very different ilk. Our messiah came in humility, and poverty. Our messiah showed the power of love.
Mr. Rogers once said “Peace is so much more than the opposite of war.” The same is true with the kingship of Christ. It’s so much more than just a crown on Jesus. It’s the celebration of the very nature of God - revealed through every aspect, word, and action of Jesus.
Fred Rogers once wrote, “[Our understanding of] God’s nature has grown and grown and grown all through the ages, yet at the heart of the original creation is that Word (call it Love, call it Grace, call it Peace …) that essence which is lodged somewhere within each of us that longs for ultimate expression. If we choose to allow it to grow we’ll be given help. If we choose otherwise we won’t be forced. If there is such a thing as a “dark corner” of God’s nature then I think it’s God’s refusal to go back on the promise of “the creation’s freedom to love or not.” Perhaps it’s our turn now to take on our own Christ-ness. To be us with the same fullness and wholesomeness that God-in-Jesus modeled. The impact of people like Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, and Mr Rogers was rooted in their capacity to live their role as a daughter or son of the King of Glory. It’s you Jesus likes. It’s me. Will we move even deeper into that love and own our place at the throne of God’s love? Watch Mr. Rogers sing the song: It’s you I like - Mr. Rogers
Almighty God, with whom still live those who die in the Lord, and with whom the souls of the faithful are in joy and felicity: We give you heartfelt thanks for the good examples of all your servants, who, having finished their course in faith, now find rest and refreshment.
For those who departed this life in faith and in the fear of God especially,
Nancy Bell Underwood
Agnes & Charles Burlis
Michael and Joyce Barbagallo
Judy Stanis Mowry
Kathryn and Robert Mowry
James and Wanda Renshaw
Virginia W. StanfordBrian and Larry Bogart
That they may join the innumerable throng of holy ones gathered before the throne and the lamb, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, “Peace I give to you, my own peace I leave with you:” Regard not our sins, but the faith of your church, and give to use the peace and unity of that heavenly city, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit, you reign, now and forever. AMEN.
St. Paul’s has been blessed by the stewardship of past members. Through their good planning, generosity and commitment, they were able to make bequests to the church upon their death. They understood there would be ongoing financial needs to carry out the ministries they so deeply cared about. They included St. Paul’s in their wills and estate planning. Their deep commitment to carrying out God’s ministry at St. Paul’s is inspiring and seems remarkable; but there are examples of this in the Bible. Genesis 41 describes a time early in Israel’s history when God used Joseph to cause the King of Egypt to order an unprecedented storage of grain against the coming seven years of famine. Through that endowment, the people through whom the Savior of the world was to come were kept from starvation.
St. Paul’s Vestry has been able to keep most of our bequest funds invested. The income from our bequests has generated hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past 20 years and, frankly, is in large part the reason St. Paul’s has been able to keep the doors open! For the past five years, we have used an average of $40,000 of the income generated by our bequest funds to help pay our day-to-day expenses (utilities, pantry supplies and church cleaning). It’s unclear if and what St. Paul’s would be today if not for income from our bequests; but certainly bequests funds kept us from starvation!
Some of the bequests were substantial ($150,000 or more) and some were much smaller. Remember Jesus’ teaching at the Temple in Jerusalem about the widow’s mite? (Luke 21:1-4) ALL the bequests were made by deeply committed members, giving to the best of their ability. ALL – no matter the size, were gifts of thanksgiving BACK to God, accumulated from a lifetime of blessings. As believers, we understand that God is the owner of everything.
Just as we can do great things when we come together as a congregation, so can bequests of any size empower St. Paul’s to carry out future ministry. Smaller bequests are within reach for most of us, and they add up. Ten bequests of $1,000 add $10,000 to our investment fund. Over 20 years, at a modest investment return of 5%, this would generate $20,000 in income. Because St. Paul’s vestry is committed to preserving the core of our bequests, the original gifts remain invested and continue generating income to fund ministry.
Do you have a will or estate plan? In estate planning, we are merely arranging to transfer stewardship responsibility, hopefully in a way that would please the One who has created and who owns all things. Estate planning affects literally everything we consider “ours”. Because of that, it is the single most important act of stewardship we will ever undertake. (Estate Planning resources will soon be available at St. Paul’s.) Please prayerfully consider including St. Paul’s in your estate planning.
Angela Breeher, Sr. Warden
Gloria Hartman was a beloved member of St. Paul’s church for over 60 years. It’s safe to say she served in almost every role a layperson could. For over twenty years she served as church treasurer - which is probably one of the most time consuming and challenging roles there is! Just ask Kim Boelling, our current treasurer, she’ll tell you.
When Gloria died in July, her personal service to St. Paul’s ended. However, she left a lasting gift through a bequest of just under $200,000. This bequest is a tremendous blessing for St. Paul’s.
A portion of this money was designated for installing solar panels on our flat roof. Another portion was given to install a sound system in the sanctuary. For the timebeing, the bequest will be placed in our Diocesan Investment Trust (DIT). The income from the interest on our DIT funds already supports the parish $40,000 a year. With the additional interest generated from this bequest, we may, by the end of 2020 be able to add another $3 - 5,000 to General Fund income.
I have two things to say about this:
-- Pastor Rebecca Ragland
Rector's Corner posts written by Pastor Rebecca.