Good morning, everyone-thank you for allowing me to address you again this morning-and, special note of thanks to Charlie Neumann, who I understand offered a very inspirational testimonial during last Sunday’s services. Charlie didn’t know it, but that was his audition for heading up NEXT year’s Stewardship Campaign-and I want to personally offer him my vote for that role.
It seems as though whenever I have been in a situation where one of my fellow church members is asked why they attend and worship here at All Saints’ Church-invariably they say that one of the main reasons that they do so is because the church feels like Home to them, and they really do feel like the other members of the church are extended Family. They say that is what makes this church seem special to them. I suspect, that while All Saints’ is unique in its own way, that there many other churches and places of worship where members of those organizations feel much the same as members of this church do-and, I suppose that I feel the same way about this place, most of the time. I think that when something is yours, or you at least recognize that something as belonging to you in some way, you have no other choice but to love and embrace it. I once heard a famous football coach tell a sports reporter, after his team had lost a particularly important game against their most despised rival-and in doing so hadn’t performed up to their full potential, that those players he had were his, and he loved them for that reason only-despite whatever shortcomings they might have, or had displayed on that day. Well, I know that I feel the same way about this place-and hope that everyone who attends and worships here feels the same about it.
It is well chronicled, that here in North America in the 21st Century, that cultural and social behaviors have changed-in a way where many people don’t feel the need, nor have the inclination, to attend church regularly, if at all. Yeah, it is tough times-especially for many of the established church “brands” that have been an integral part of America’s social fabric for several centuries. But, I am not here to speak about a doom and gloom scenario-because, that isn’t how Christians are supposed to view our lives. The Christian message is one of hope-always-and I’m eternally hopeful when I think of what we have here at All Saints’ Church.
On those occasions when Charlotte and I encounter people who happen to ask where we attend church, we always refer to All Saints’ Oakville as “my” church or “our” church, because we do think of it in terms of our own family. After being members here for over 25 years, it does feel like a second home to us. As with any family, and with any home, the ride is not always perfectly smooth and exactly even. For us, there have been many moments of joy, happiness and fun associated with our affiliation with this church-and, there have been some experiences that have fallen at the other end of the emotional spectrum (meaning, not so good). However, regardless of the situations we’ve experienced over the years, well or ill, we still feel an enduring attachment to this church and all of you who occupy this same space.
So, I would like to respectfully ask all of you, my All Saints’ family, to consider your role as a member of this church, and in honoring your commitment to it. In the spirit of true Stewardship, this place is certainly worth preserving-the gifts that we can give now, will, hopefully, pay it forward so that All Saints’ Church can continue as an integral part of this community (both inside and outside of these walls) for the foreseeable future. Please make your commitment and give to the church as generously as you possibly can.
This is an excerpt from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans (read Chapter 12 verses 1 through 8).
This passage reminds us that every one of us has something to offer and something to give. Whatever that may be-the phrase that we like to use here is Time, Talent & Treasure-give it with a happy heart, because the act of giving truly is the greatest gift that there is.
God bless each of you, and God bless this church. Amen.