Hi I’m Charlie Neumann.

So, we’re in stewardship season, and we take a moment here to share our personal viewpoints on stewardship and our involvement with the church.   Jim and Charlotte Morro are leading the stewardship drive this year.  Last week Jim spoke, and he asked if anyone would volunteer to speak this week.

This came up at the Vestry meeting this week, and somehow I volunteered myself.  I think I said, I had a thought.

I really must learn to stop talking to myself out loud.

First my apologies to Howie, I’m already 50 words over the six word sermon I delivered one morning when I was a lay reader for morning prayer.

Also, I feel that talking to this group here about commitment to the church, is like one of my favorite memories from elementary school.   This was back in the day when we started the school day in home-room, and the office made announcements to the school.  Apparently there was an issue with the PA system that morning, and they actually made the announcement:   Will anyone who can not hear this announcement please call the office.

I think the cliche’ is ‘Preaching to the Choir’.  You’re here, you’re already committed.

Anyway, while sitting up there in the choir one morning I considered my own reasons for being here.

I’ve been a member of All Saints for more than 25 years, but I stopped attending regularly about 15 years ago.  My kids were grown and work kept me away all week.   It’s only recently, within the last six months, that I’ve again been coming to church regularly.  No particular reason, but once I joined the choir and accepted the vestry invitation, I was kind of locked in.

What I recently recognized is that attending every Sunday,  doing what you can to help the church, it’s like exercise.  It’s like going to the gym, and it’s good for you.

It is said that the ‘self’, the whole person, is body, mind and soul.  It’s easy to understand the body part, and the mind part, that’s how you interact and communicate, but that’s not all there is to a person.  There is that third aspect, the soul or spiritual part of you.  One thing you learn, and it becomes more clear the older you get, is that all people really are those three things.   There is the physical body, which together with the mind create the thoughts and actions of a person, and there is ‘something else’.   It’s not physical, and it doesn’t interact openly but you know it.  You can feel it, you can sense it in yourself and others.  Sometimes you feel it is there when the other two are there no longer.  The third and equally important part of self, the spiritual part, the soul.

We all want to be the best we can, take care of our self as best we can.  And there is no easy way to do that.  We hear it all the time.  If you want to keep your body healthy you need to exercise.  As we get older we’re also told we also need to exercise the mind, do that Sunday Crossword, don’t just watch TV.   But, what about the soul.  Well that’s what I realized going to church does for me.  Doing what I can to be involved in the church, in the work of the church.  It’s exercise for the soul.  There is not nearly as much emphasis on that in the world, there should be, it’s just as important.

And so, just like going to the gym, you get up on Sunday morning, when you’d really rather sleep in, to come to church and get a little spiritual work out.  I think you already know this.  You’re doing it by being here today.  Great job, keep it up. It’s good for you.

Thank you.

Charlie Neumann