Calvary St. George's Episcopal Church
755 Clinton Avenue
(at the corner of Beechwood,
one block south of North Avenue or US1)
Bridgeport, CT  06604-2302
Office Telephone 203-333-5116 x100
Family Matters Community Center 203-696-0787
Calvary St. George's Food Pantry 203-333-5116 x150
Fax 203-366-2240
Kitchen 203-333-5116 x104 (useful on Sundays)
Email info@calvarystgeorges.com

 

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OUR STEWARDSHIP NEWSLETTER

APRIL 2006

Deputy for Stewardship: Richard Worth

JUST SAY ‘YES’

In his Second Letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul writes, “As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been ‘Yes and No.’ For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you…was not ‘Yes and No’; but in him it is always ‘Yes.’ For in him every one of God’s promises is a ‘Yes.’ For this reason it is through him that we say the ‘Amen’ to the glory of God. But it is God who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us, by putting his seal on us and giving us his Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.”

Jesus has made a commitment to us to be there at all times. He says ‘Yes,’ not ‘Maybe,’ or ‘If it’s convenient.’ Christ asks us to do the same thing—to say ‘Yes’ to his values, his teachings, and the Christian way of life.

In fact, Stewardship is simply another word for ‘Yes.’  It means that I will embrace the teachings of Jesus. It also means that I will embrace the needs of his church. This may mean giving my time to lead the youth group on a Sunday afternoon, just as Pat O’Donnell does. It may mean serving on the altar on a Sunday morning, just as Rebecca Silva does. It may also mean sponsoring a coffee hour after Mass, just as Holly Holdsworth does.

Stewardship also means ‘Yes’ when Calvary St. George’s asks for our financial help. In the months just after the merger, we expect to have extra expenses. Among them is building a new space for Family Matters and our Food Pantry. This may require extra giving for all of us. The cost of fuel has skyrocketed this year, putting another burden on our budget. Paying for these costs requires our support.

When you think about giving, please say ‘Yes’ to Calvary St. George’s. Please say ‘Yes’ to the message of Jesus Christ.

WHAT CALVARY ST. GEORGE’S MEANS TO ME

Stewardship is our way of giving back for all the things God blesses us with throughout the year. Laurie Goldson has been a member of Calvary St. George’s for five years. She and her daughter Tess were baptized by Father Doug in 2001. Before their baptism, Tess was going to Calvary for the dance classes, held in the basement. She was delighted to join the church. “I like the people at Calvary St. George’s Church, they are friendly,” she said. “It is a place of prayer, faith and new hope.

When she first came to the parish, Laurie was welcomed by Joan Kaesman. Laurie added:  “When I first came there, Joan was very nice to me. She was the first one to greet me and Tess when we came there. She was our godparent when we were baptized.” Tess also serves on the altar as a Gospel Bearer on Sunday mornings and enjoys bowling with the youth group. Both Tess and Laurie especially appreciate the help that Father Doug has given them. As Laurie put it, “If I have any problem I can talk to him. We met at the church to discuss a problem I was having and we talked it through.”

Kyle Carpenter began attending Mass in the parish about a year ago. He comes to church with his mother, Jo-Ann, his sisters, and his brother, Shane. Kyle serves as torch bearer twice a month at the ten o’clock Mass. He also enjoys attending youth group. “I like youth group. It’s a place you can go and learn about God besides church, and in a fun way.”  One of the best things about Calvary St. George’s, Kyle explains, is religion school. He says that it’s a “way to learn about what people are doing at Mass but in a different way.”

LIVING IS GIVING

In his book Giving and Stewardship in an Effective Church, Kennon Callahan writes, “Living is giving. This is the first principle for giving. We live life best as we give our strengths, gifts, and competencies in the service of God’s mission. We are called to serve, not survive. Our giving makes a difference in our families, our work, our community, our world, and our church.”

How do you feel after you have given something to someone else? Whether it’s your expertise at building a new space for Family Matters or making an extra donation for fuel on Sunday, it makes us feel as if the day were more worthwhile. If you’re feeling a little depressed in the morning at the start of a new week, take yourself out of your own concerns for a moment. Think about what you might be able to do for someone else. It’s a good way of chasing the blues away. Our mission in life is finding joy--for ourselves as well as others.

As Callahan writes, “God calls congregations to mission. Money follows mission, not the reverse. The stronger a congregation’s mission, visitation, worship, groupings, leadership, and decision making, the stronger the giving.”

What can you do to make the mission of Calvary St. George’s even stronger? Think about how you might spend an extra hour this week participating in the mission of the parish. Or perhaps you have an idea to re-define the mission and take it into an important new direction. All of us are part of this parish and we possess unique gifts that can make it even better. Giving our gifts to help others is the meaning of stewardship.

last update 12/16/2007