Several weeks ago as school got back up and running, David outlined his sermon series for the coming weeks. He called it “What Disciples Do” and he noted three things: disciples practice generosity, they wrestle with God, and they take their faith public. Which got me thinking about my own faith journey.
In looking back, I've realized that most of my involvement in the churches I've attended has focused on 'governance' and 'activities' - committees, events, fundrasing projects, the Board. I realize now that I have thought very little about my faith and what that has meant to me. That was until I walked into the Church of Saint John the Evangelist.
For me, if I am going to belong to an organization, I believe I have a responsibility to participate in some capacity. So when at Vestry, Sarah Wayland stood up and said that she was looking for volunteers for the Stewardship Committee, I thought “well I know nothing about stewardship per se, but I've been on lots of committees and I take pretty good minutes”. So volunteer I did.
Little did I know that not only would I be learning about the concept of generosity but that I would be embarking on a deep and profound journey wrestling with what my faith means to me in a way I have never done before.
The basis of our work on the Stewardship Committee rests on the basic belief that all that we are and all that we have is a gift from God and eternal joy is only realized when we live lives of abundant generosity. That is a real mouthful so I am going to say part of that sentence again: All that we are and all that we have is a gift from God. I understand this intellectually, but if I were an honest person, I'm really wrestling with getting that into my heart and my soul.
I have had moments of real confusion as we've talked in Stewardship and I dare say real discomfort but I have begun to explore my faith in a really intentional way as a result. And with that, I have begun to explore the concept of how I give back to God.
I have attended a couple of Bible studies, the wonderful Lenten series that Fran facilitated, and now Revive. So many of you have reached out to me with your generosity and with your knowledge. You have been so kind in answering my many questions no matter how naive they have been. I have come to understand that this is indeed a journey and we all wrestle with faith at various points along our journeys. I have grown to realize that I am not traveling alone in this. And so to the many of you I have been blessed to know over these past several months, I thank you. Truly. From the bottom of my heart. Because do you know what I have learned from your generosity? That this is what disciples do.