A Message from Chris Prosser

November, 2006

As we think about Stewardship, it is important to be clear on what this means.

Christian Stewardship can be thought of as an attitude. Webster's Dictionary defines "attitude" as "posture; position assumed or studied to serve a purpose. . .position or bearing as indicating action, feeling, or mood." It is an attitude that influences our daily life. It is a lifestyle, reflected in the way we live our lives every day of the year.

Our understanding of this stewardship attitude originates in Genesis. The first chapter tells us that God created all things, including people, who are to be the managers, caretakers, or stewards of all that God created. Being good stewards involves protecting and improving our natural surroundings and environment. It includes being concerned about the welfare of our fellow human beings. It even means that we are to take care of ourselves, not in a selfish or materialistic way, but rather by staying in shape spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Joel Barker, a futurist, once said : Vision without Action, is merely a dream, Action without Vision, just passes the time, but Vision with action, can change the world.

A few years ago, the parishioners of St. George’s created a Vision for our parish. This is posted in the gallery. Out of that planning session came a number of initiatives, which were implemented. The Open Door program, and the growth of Christian Education being two of them.

When Father Anthony arrived in our parish, we re-examined our Stewardship Education Program and proposed at Vestry this year, that we adopt the program outlined by the Diocese and Vestry agreed.

In the early part of 2006, over 70 parishioners gathered at a Spring conference to do some long range planning. This set in place some key areas of focus for this year and beyond. The following list itemizes the key goals we set for ourselves and what we have accomplished.

• To enhance and extend our present communication practices to more effectively promote the news and work of the parish. We now have an information coordinator in Joan Powell and Cindy Vartour-Smith is updating our web site.

• To empower our young people to express their faith in worship and to have a voice and meaningful role in the life and leadership of the parish. We are encouraging more involvement from the youth and the children are now a greater part of the services

• To encourage PAG (Pre Authorized Giving) and to make our members, on a weekly basis, more aware of our financial picture. This is part of the visitation program and already we have noticed increased PAG participation.

• To actively pursue an exchange with potential new membership resulting from weddings and baptisms and other ministrations. We have an active program to encourage involvement from the participants of this program

• To strengthen the ministry of hospitality for seekers and visitors. We have established coffee hours after services as well as having published the different groups in existence at St. George’s.

• To develop a health ministry that promotes wholeness of body, mind and spirit – ultimately leading to a Parish Nurse whose role would be advocacy and education for the entire parish. This is in process

• To devise programs and communications which address the traditions, symbols and rituals of the Anglican Church for seekers and all people on their spiritual journeys. Our hot-seat Sundays are one example.

We have made tremendous progress on all our key areas.

Over the summer, the commitments subcommittee worked very diligently and developed a plan for visitation in the parish to educate all of us on our Stewardship program.

These visits are now in process and due to end on Saturday 18. We will then complete our Stewardship Education program on Sunday 19, with commitment Sunday.

We are already seeing positive results from this program. Many parishioners are offering their time and talents in service at St. George’s. Eleanor has informed us that our financial picture is also moving in the right direction.

We have coupled a Vision with Action here at St. Georges.

The Stewardship Education Committee has set a tremendous example of Stewardship in that they have done great work on their committees and I want to list the members of this committee:

Commitments Coordinator: Jim Weldon, Marjorie Stark, Ross Kossatz and Murray Wildman
Arrangements Coordinator: Pam Fleming
Information Coordinator: Joan Powell, Cindy Vautour-Smith
Long Range Planning: Brett Jeffs, Cleve Sheffield, Joan Fontaine, Gillian Heath, Gail Winters

Respectfully submitted,

Chris Prosser
People’s Warden and Chair of Stewardship Education.



 


©2006 St. George's Memorial Anglican Church