Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am writing to you today to make a simple and direct appeal for you to make a commitment to do three things for the faith community of St. James Episcopal Cathedral in the next year.
First, it is not by happenstance that this letter comes to you just a few days following my installation as your Dean. We waited to make our ask because I wanted the experience of that liturgy and the hope that is symbolizes to be fresh in your hearts and minds as you consider my humble stewardship request for 2022. Admittedly, this year our Stewardship effort is very low key. Let's be honest, SJC is in transition, and many folks are "sitting on the fence" taking a "wait and see" approach, regarding what will happen as we move forward, before committing time, talent, or treasure. A modest approach to Stewardship this year seems fitting.
While our approach is simple, please do not misunderstand, Stewardship is incredibly important to the life of St. James Cathedral! We need you to prayerfully make a financial pledge so that the ministry and the work, to which God is calling us, will continue and develop and thrive. Generations from now sustainable, thriving ministry will be our legacy to those who follow.
If you have never pledged before, I ask you, please do so for this upcoming year. In fact, let me be so bold as to ask that you make a minimum pledge of one thousand two-hundred dollars (that is just $3.29 a day...a cup of coffee). If you are able to give more, then I challenge you to give more.
If you are already a pledging member of the parish, I ask that you increase your contribution for 2022 by five percent. While many may find it distasteful to say, money is necessary for the work and ministry of the church. It is a necessary part of our personal spiritual discipline and SJC will only do what it has the financial resources to do. Please, give generously!
Second, would you make a rock solid commitment to God, and each other, to make church attendance your top priority in the coming year and then attend Eucharist weekly? St. James Cathedral is in a significant time of transition in its life and history. We are no longer the cathedral of yesterday and we have not yet worked through what God is calling us to become. Transition is exciting but difficult and we need to support each other through presence and communal gathering. Most importantly we need to lift our voices to God giving thanks for the immeasurable grace God pours out on each of us day in and day out.
Every single person in this parish is important to Jesus Christ and to the life of our community. Your active presence is requested and needed! This brings me to my third, and perhaps most important, request. In 2022 please make a commitment, (and follow through on it), to bring one new member to St. James Cathedral. If everyone in our parish extended just one invitation to join our community, we would double in size in 2022. Think about how transformational that would be for all. Extend many invitations. God is calling you to share the Good News! I challenge you, change a life, transform a soul.
This year there will two opportunities for you to lay before the Lord your commitments for 2022. On Thursday, January 6, we will celebrate the Epiphany. This is feast where we recall the story of the Wisemen laying their gifts at the feet of the Christ Child. Please join with us and lay your gifts at the feet of Jesus. Then on Sunday, January 9, we will offer a second opportunity for you do the same.
Please know that I am honored to be in service with each of you. I know that miraculous ministry is possible in this place. It will change who we are, and it will change Fresno/Clovis. After all, change...transformation is why Jesus came into the world.
Please reach out to me if you have questions. I am your faithful servant in Christ,