“The Worship has Ended, the Service Begins.” The first time I heard the service close with that sentence, it put me back on my heels a bit. “What’s that supposed to mean?” I said to myself. As jarring ideas often do, it made me think. It also made me pay attention. I paid attention to the effect that we have in our community, not only in the South Hills, or in Pittsburgh, but across the country and around the world. It made me pay attention to the depth our willingness to serve, to act as Christ’s hands and feet on the Earth. This need that we feel is not unique to St. Paul’s. I felt this when I stood with members of St. Paul's and other faith communities in support of the Islamic Center in Carnegie after there were threats to their community. This act of service and solidarity was organized by leaders in the Jewish community only months after the Tree of Life shootings. So we are not unique. Which means that we are not alone, that we matter.
We matter to the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank. We matter to South Hills Interfaith Ministry. We matter to the Severe Emergency Weather Network when we provide meatloaf dinners for the homeless. We matter to Shepherd’s Heart. We matter to the South Hills Food Pantry. We matter to Collin Mukisa, who grew up in a Ugandan orphanage and whom we are helping attend medical school there. We matter to the children of the Mustard Seed Babies Home in Uganda. We matter with every dollar we send to victims of natural disasters around the world, through Episcopal Relief and Development. We matter in our willingness to give of our time and talents, not just our treasure.
We are blessed to have a spirit of community and so much outwardly directed energy at St. Paul’s. If we are going to channel that energy effectively, we also need to pay attention to ourselves. We need to make sure that everyone who will be “Christ’s hands and feet on Earth” has a solid foundation of Christian values so they can meet the challenges they will face. We need to make sure that the place that we come to worship and recharge on Sundays is well maintained and welcoming so that we may act on God’s call to us with a renewed sense of purpose. That is where Stewardship comes in. Our pledges during the annual Stewardship campaign help us plan for the coming year. They form the backbone of our annual budget and help us decide how best to allocate our resources. St. Paul’s is self-funding — we receive no outside money. Consequently, our efforts in the world have to match up with the resources that we count on through pledges. Our pledges are vitally important. We will be hearing in the coming weeks about how St. Paul’s makes our community better. As we receive these messages, I ask your prayerful consideration during this pledge season about how we can make St. Paul’s better — as a member of the body of Christ and as an example of his giving love and self-sacrifice for our larger community.
You can pledge here. Please hand in your pledge before Sunday, November 24th, when we will end the campaign with Sundae Sunday with ice cream Sundae’s after our combined 9:45AM worship service with Bishop Dorsey McConnell, to joyfully express our thanks to all who have made a pledge.Thank you for joining in contributing to our shared ministry at St. Paul’s.
Yours in Christ,
Frank Horrigan, Stewardship Co-Chair
Ginny Barnicoat, Senior Warden Geoff Hurd, Junior Warden John Sheehan, Stewardship Co-Chair, The Rev. Noah H. Evans, Rector