From the Rector: Stewardship, a Time to Think about what Really Matters

Craig MacColl.JPG

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a Stanford University alumni event (my wife, Ann, is an alumus) and to hear the new President, Marc Tessier-Lavigne speak to a group of 200 alumni from the Denver area. I have heard a lot of speeches by high school principals, and college and university presidents, and I have to say I was impressed. What made an impression on me was the enthusiastic way that Tessier-Lavigne spoke about many different aspects of life at Stanford and, especially the way he spoke with genuine interest about the undergraduate students. Although Tessier-Lavigne has had a very successful career as a neuro-scientist, a University Administrator  and a bio-tech business executive, he came across as being down to earth and engaged with the entire university community. It sounds like a cliché’, but you got the impression that Tessier-Lavigne really cares about the institution he now runs. I found myself saying to myself, “if I was a Stanford alumnus I would want to send them a donation.”
Deciding to share our time, talent and financial resources with a church like Good Shepherd is really no different from writing a check to one’s college or university alma mater. When we go through the process of deciding what we want to give we ask ourselves, “Why do I care? What is it about this place that really matters to me, my family and to the world at large.” Sure, schools like Stanford that are committed to providing millions of dollars of financial aid deserve to benefit from the generosity of alumni. But, at the end of the day, what motivates many people to give is not the school’s need, but the feeling donors have that the school they are supporting really matters to them… matters to them in ways they can’t often explain. 
What is it about Good Shepherd Episcopal Church that matters to you and your family? What is it about this Christian community that would motivate you to give to our annual stewardship campaign? Is it our Sunday worship services, our extensive outreach programs, our excellent staff, our commitment to provide Christian education to our children and youth? Is it just the simple fact that Good Shepherd provides a place for you to come and pray, to slow down and re-connect with God, or to find support from fellow parishioners you have known for years? Each of us has our own reasons why a church community matters. Of course, annual stewardship campaigns like this year’s “Together in Faith” campaign exist because the church depends on the donations of its members. But, more importantly, stewardship campaigns are the one time of the year when we are all invited to ask the simple question, “What is it about this place that really matters?”
I hope you will take some time this month to ask yourself this question and then to respond in whatever way you feel God is calling you to.