The Stewardship Committee, Deb P., Lisa H., Wendy I. and Kevin F., would like to thank you for coming full circle in your Spiritual Journey. Our prayer for you is that your journey here at the Barre Congregational Church will continue to deepen your faith. Let us not end this journey but let it continue on......
If you have not sent in your pledge card and/or your time and talent card, it's not too late. You may receive a "Hello, how are you?" phone call.
On Sunday, October 15th, the Stewardship Committee participated in the Sunday service as a member of the committee. I was the one that pulled the short straw and was asked to speak. Here is my Journey of Spiritual Renewal.
Do You Have the Spiritual Gift in You?
As we sat at our first stewardship meeting, Lisa, Deb, Pastor Margaret and I kept throwing out ideas for this year’s Stewardship Campaign. The word "renewal" kept coming up, so it was agreed renewal should be part of this year’s theme, hence “Joining Together as Stewards of Renewal." The whole time I was sitting there thinking, "Ok I’m asking new and present members of my church family to renew or start their subscription to the Barre Congregational Church."
How many times do you get a subscription card in the mail and you just put it in a pile of junk mail, just like the pledge card and the time and talent card you just received a few weeks ago? You say to yourself, "I’ll fill it out later."
We know that we should fill the subscription card out so we can renew that subscription to that favorite magazine but also our pledge, which not only represents our monetary gift but also represents our spiritual gift to the Barre Congregational Church -- not only to the church but to ourselves.
If you were in church last week, you heard some members felt the spiritual calling to serve on a committee. I believe God has called us all to take this wild and crazy ride in the Journey of Spiritual Renewal in one form or
another. God has given us all many gifts. Now it’s the time to share these gifts with not only one another, but with the church. Our time and talents can come in many forms -- repair something that needs fixing in the church, help out at a Community Friendship supper or a Church Supper, teach in the Sunday School program, volunteer to help the sexton clean...these are only a few ways of using your time and talents. We can only do this as Joining Together as Stewards of Renewal. In 1 Timothy, verse 4 it says for everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. Like the pledge we make, it too can be consecrated with thanksgiving by God and this church.
I have been blessed and grateful for the many gifts in my life -- a wonderful family, a loving, caring supportive husband and some really close friends. I know I would not have had any of these things without faith in God and his teachings, which I have been given with the foundation of church. This is a foundation my parents made sure both my brother and I had not only as a children, but as teens and beyond. My hope is that we can give this same foundation of not only faith, but of hope, peace and joy, to our children and our children’s children in many years to come. The Sunday School children, or butterflies, as Pastor Margaret would call them, are on the common today building their foundation as they help the people of the Barre Food Pantry who are in need of food assistance.
Some foundations are solid, sometimes cracks are formed. Sometimes the cracks are small and then they become larger over time. Over the past few years, my spiritual faith foundation has been cracked. If you asked me over a year ago if this foundation could be repaired, I believe I would have said no. My faith journey has taken several different turns. One crack seemed to take me on a journey of bitterness, betrayal, resentment and a lack of self-esteem. Another crack was one of sadness and lack of hope, joy and peace. Stepping back, not being able to attend church services or able to do the job I loved without resentment or sadness, I took a look at my foundation and decided this foundation needed to be fixed. I think we all at some time in our lives have to step back and reexamine the foundation and the journey in life we are on. Does that foundation get repaired? Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes when the cracks are repaired they come back stronger. Has my faith been repaired? Yes, to some extent it is being repaired. With the help from God and Pastor Margaret, I no longer have the bitterness, the resentment, and the hurt is slowly going away, and myself esteem is coming back. I would not have been able to get up in front of you and deliver this sermon a year ago.
In our journey of renewal, in order to repair the foundation, we need to be grateful for those around us who have helped us with those special talents, who have helped us repair our own foundation. Repairs can be made not only through the word of God, but through music, helping those through volunteering, and giving of oneself to those in need. I am thankful for the support from my church family and God. Some of my church family have been patient, kind and shown their love, and God has given me guidance in my Journey of Renewal of Faith. To those of you who have lost your faith in God and church, I hope God will take you on our own Spiritual Journey of Renewal, as stated in 1 Corinthians 13:13, "...and now these three remain faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." We all are looking to fix those cracks in our foundation with faith in God, hope in the future journey of renewal for the Barre Congregational Church and its members and through the love we have for God and one another.
Remember the pledge card....Now it’s time to go to the junk mail and find that pledge card, and/or time and talent card...Do you have the Spiritual gift in you? If you do, maybe you should renew it....