Love Opens Doors
This year’s stewardship theme is “Love Opens Doors.” That’s both the doors of the church and the doors of our hearts. The open doors of the church allow us to come in for worship and to go out to serve. The open doors of our hearts allow us to be vulnerable, to rely on each other, and to share the love of God with all we meet. In order to keep the church doors open, we come together each year to fund God’s mission here at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Mystic. Over one hundred individuals and families pledge their financial resources to God’s mission as we plan for a 2022 budget of over $330,000. Your wonderful generosity gives us the gift of saying a collective “Yes” to God’s movement in the life of this church, as we respond to that movement creatively, flexibly, and compassionately. This year, we are celebrating that such movement happens when the doors of both building and heart stand open because of God’s ever present love.
Giving as Spiritual Discipline
We give back to God out of the myriad gifts God has showered upon us for two reasons. First, by giving back we stay in right relationship with God. We worship the giver instead of the gift. We live full lives enriched by multitudes of blessings instead of tiny lives in service to lifeless idols. And second, giving back offers us the opportunity to partner with God and use our unique constellations of gifts to turn the raw material of blessing into new and abundant life for all.
Our God-given gifts come in many forms: talents we’ve honed over the years, time we dedicate to service, and financial resources, to name three. At St. Mark’s, we walk in love in worship and song, in teaching and learning, in fellowship and in friendship, in going out into the world in peace to see, name, and celebrate God’s presence. Our participation in God’s mission involves countless hours by myriad volunteers: Sunday worship leaders, children and youth ministries guides, altar preparers, flower arrangers, Eucharistic visitors, event organizers, knitters, singers, painters, carpenters, vestry members, and mission workers, to name a few.
The Story We Tell
The money we spend each year to support God’s mission at St. Mark’s flows nearly all from the generous financial pledges of over 100 individuals and households. Each autumn, members of the parish join together in pledging their financial resources to God’s mission for the next calendar year. Knowing these numbers helps us generate the next year’s budget. Once completed, this budget helps narrate the story we are able to tell as one chapter of God’s people serving God’s mission.