And taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.  And all ate and were filled. What was left over was gathered up, twelve baskets of broken pieces. Luke 9:16-17, NRSV

Dear friends in Christ,

“And all ate and were filled.” And there were leftovers. That is true all the time here at St. Mary’s! Our wonderful celebration on October 2 was just the latest. I am so grateful for the generosity and hospitality of the St. Mary’s family. Every dollar that you contribute, every minute you volunteer, every time you pitch in to make an event a success, you reveal your love of God and neighbor.

We are approaching pledge season, the time of the year when we prayerfully consider how we will contribute our ideas, funds, and time to St. Mary’s in 2023. This month, I invite us to focus on the miracle of sharing, and the abundance of joy we find when we share our resources – our time, our talents (so many good cooks!), and our treasure. In my ministry here, I am often reminded of the feeding miracle described in the Gospels. Thousands are fed, even though all that is evident at first is a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread. We bring what we have – the loaves and fishes of our lives – and somehow it is enough, and more than enough. We are fed and filled and strengthened and equipped to feed and fill others.

In a few weeks, you will receive an invitation to name and pledge the financial gifts you will make in the coming year to sustain and nourish our church as we join God’s work in the world. I hope you take advantage of this time to consider other aspects of your participation in the life of St. Mary’s. Is there something you’ve wanted to learn about or teach? Do you have a few hours a month to serve on Altar Guild, or to be an usher or reader? Are you ready to jump in to our social justice work? Can you help with the occasional event? What would you love to see here, and what are you willing to do to make it happen?

On Sunday mornings, I say “Let us with gladness present the offerings and oblations of our life and labor to the Lord.” Wishing you joy as you prayerfully consider your response to God’s abundant love.