Dear St. James Parish,
As we turn the corner into the fourth quarter of our church’s fiscal year, the leadership of our parish begins planning for the year ahead. Prayerfully discerning the direction of our ministries for the coming year – and prudently allocating resources for those ministries – is a collective effort of our entire community. We are called to be faithful stewards of all the gifts God has given us, and that stewardship involves planning to the best of our abilities.
Personally, I am excited to engage in this process of planning with St. James parish for the first time since becoming your Rector. This parish is blessed in many ways, as evidenced by the high percentage of our members engaged in various ministries, be it through outreach, liturgical service, prayer ministries, administration, formation, or any number of others. From my vantage, I see our church being poised for new and increasing ministries in the coming months and years, especially in faith formation and evangelism in our community, and I am eager to hear where others sense the Spirit may be drawing us as we look ahead.
In addition to being blessed by each other’s presence and service, we are blessed by the number of parishioners who contribute financially to support the various ministries of our parish. While the amounts each of us give varies in accordance with our unique circumstances, all of us share from the abundance of God’s bounty. The God in whom we live and move and have our being has entrusted us, collectively, with an abundance of gifts. Just as trees of different kinds and shapes and sizes all exist in the same forest, each of us find ourselves planted in this place known as St. James Episcopal Church, where we draw from the rich soil of blessing God has given us. We are rooted in abundance.
Over the coming weeks, I ask you to prayerfully consider what ministries God may be calling us to in the next year and how you may contribute to our ministries at St. James Church. Our pledges, given in faith, allow us to plan faithfully as stewards of God’s abundance. Please share with the parish leadership the fruit of your discernment by returning the included 2024 Pledge Card or completing the online pledge card by Sunday, October 29, when we will celebrate the ingathering of our pledges to one other with a potluck.
Fr. Isaac Petty, Rector