The New Pillars of the Church

St. Andrew’s (the building) has four mighty pillars at its front doors. But like any church, it is made up of pillars within, women and men in the church who through the years have formed the foundation of St. Andrew’s and have served as mentors and guides in the faith. No doubt you’ve heard that phrase used to describe the folks in church who are at the core of the community. We often look at older members and regard them as “pillars of St. Andrew’s,” especially if they are active or if stories about them help to create the fabric of the church’s story.

While we give thanks for the stories of those steady pillars, our job today is to make new pillars. My hope for each one of you is that you will respond to God’s invitation and become a pillar of this church.

This is what stewardship – the practice of giving generously – is all about.

Each time you give, especially when you give proportionally, you are taking your place as a pillar of the church. When you grow in your giving, in number and proportion, your faith grows. But you also grow in your ability to sustain and nurture this sacred place.

Believe it or not, I’m not talking about money. Certainly as your financial gift grows, so too does St. Andrew’s ability to bear witness to the gospel.  But much more importantly, as you put money in its place and deepen your wholehearted relationship with Christ, you will grow as a disciple of Jesus and a mentor in the faith. That is far more important than money, but it takes the act of generous giving to get there.

I love the stories of this place, of the great “pillars of the church” who have filled the pews over its many years. But my job is to see to it that you each become pillars in your own right. This church will flourish and grow as you each deepen your fidelity to one another through the act of giving.

This year’s pledge campaign has focused not on our budget, but on your relationship with God. In fact, our ongoing stewardship ministry will continue that way because we don’t need you to pay for new pillars. We need you to become the new pillars.

Our campaign concludes this Sunday, October 2nd. Have you made a pledge yet? If not you can download a pledge card here and simply mail it to church or bring it to church.

I give thanks for your generosity!

BJ+

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About bernardowens

I'm an Episcopal priest in Greensboro, North Carolina.
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