by Laura Gilchrist, 2023 stewardship campaign chair
Laura and Andy Gilchrist
Everyone has a different reason for why they choose to make an annual pledge to St. John the Divine. Although I came from a family that made an annual commitment to the church we attended, I can’t honestly say that it was a priority for me when I became an adult. When Andy and I were newly married, and our budget was tight, I didn’t really see the need to make a sacrificial pledge, and I certainly did not approach annual Stewardship with any joy or enthusiasm. I knew we could just contribute as we go, and plus, did God really need my little contribution to accomplish his purposes?
However, one day, I heard the scripture “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” from Matthew, and it occurred to me out of the blue; God doesn’t ask me to give because he needs it – he has it covered. God asks me to pledge because he knows me only too well. He knows that when I have made a meaningful commitment of my treasure to something, I become more engaged in what I have committed to. And he knows that when I make a pledge to our church that feels like a sacrifice, that commitment turns into me becoming more engaged in my church community – going to church, attending a Bible study or participating in a group, signing up for a retreat, getting involved in community engagement through St. John the Divine, or simply staying after church to enjoy coffee with our church friends. And I realized that is exactly what God wants for us — because he loves us, and he knows that engagement in and through our church is good for us!
So that was the first time I joyfully and enthusiastically made our annual pledge, and I can tell you that is exactly what happened. As we started to make an annual pledge that was meaningful to us, we did become more engaged in our wonderful church and all that God has to offer through our church, and this engagement has been a blessing to our family beyond anything we could have imagined. We hope that this year, you will joyfully consider joining us in making an annual pledge that is meaningful to you.
Each fall, our church focuses part of its time on Stewardship, asking every parishioner to make a pledge – a planned financial commitment to St. John the Divine. Our budget for the coming year is created based on your and others' pledges. You can pledge now here.