Stewardship at Saint Paul’s, 2018

This year’s stewardship opportunity to give begins on Sunday, October 8th. Our theme is “Together We Rise.” At all services we will draw from a joyous harvest festival, the Jewish service of Sukkot (pronounced sueCOAT) that begins that week on the evening of October 4 and continues for a week. In Jerusalem, some Christians as well celebrate Sukkot, an autumn festival commemorating the sheltering of the Israelites in the wilderness. No matter who we are, we are no strangers to wilderness. It is only together, giving for the common good, that we can rise to a place of promise.

The word Sukkot means booth, and the holiday is often called the Festival of Booths. In Hebrew, the word “booth” also means “protection.” We find protection, not by the might of our own hands, but from the gifts that God bestows upon us. We remember God’s providence by giving back to God. Hence our stewardship.

The worship on October 1 will be in three parts. First is the Willow Procession. Like Palm Sunday, branches are raised, reminding us of our purpose to create Christ’s peace. The second is the Water Ceremony, reminding us of our baptismal covenant to give of ourselves for one another. The third part remembers Abraham’s hospitality with our procession to the communion rail. There we share in Christ’s compassion that is super-abundant and overflows in our giving. As we leave, worship pledge cards will be given out. They symbolize our commitment to God and one another through what we can share. Yes, together we rise.