Dear friends in Christ,
Paul wrote to the Philippians: “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” It is a season for prayer, for sure. We all have a lot on our hearts and minds. What a wonderful gift to know that we can pray anytime, all the time, and that God always hears. When we pray, we make space for God to take our fears and anxieties and transform them into peace and love.
Notice Paul says “by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving.” We approach God expectantly, but with an attitude of thanksgiving, knowing that God already knows what burdens us and is working even now to relieve those burdens. God does not wave a magic wand and make everything OK. But God does remind us that God is always with us, even in the deepest suffering.
God’s peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. God’s peace helps us stay focused on following Jesus, on doing God’s work in the world, each of us according to our gifts. We pray, and we are strengthened to act. We are not powerless in the face of all the problems we see in the world. There is always something we can do.
Today, I am asking you to take on one act to match a prayer. Below is some information on how to concretely love our neighbors, close to home or far away. There are many more opportunities, I know, and many of you already are working diligently in a number of areas. Thank you!
Because of acute needs, and because financial help is quick to provide and will help those already engaged in life-saving work, I pledge to match half of each of your financial gifts, up to $2000. This means if you collectively give $4000, St. Mary’s will send $6000 to people in need, right away. We will be collecting through Monday, September 13, and sending the last checks on September 14. As I say each Sunday, “let us with gladness present the offerings and oblations of our life and labor to the Lord.” God is working in the world. Let us pray, and act.
May God’s peace be always with you,
Pray, then Act
An Invitation to Give
Find out how to stay involved in the work of advocacy https://www.episcopalchurch.org/ministries/office-government-relations/
Contribute financially to provide for housing, medical and financial support, and expanded community sponsorship to serve our Afghan allies, visit bit.ly/supportafghanallies to make a secure donation online, or text “EMMALLIES” to 41444.
For opportunities to volunteer, provide housing, or sponsor, visit https://episcopalmigrationministries.org/volunteer-community-interest-form/
Episcopal Relief and Development’s Hurricane Relief Fund helps partners and dioceses reach vulnerable communities devastated by Hurricane Ida and other catastrophic storms. Financial gifts will enable them to respond now — and in the long run to aid in recovery.
The Diocese of Northern California is collecting funds to distribute to those in need. Our diocese already has sent a check but the needs are growing. Every penny donated will go to people in need.
Pastor Kristine will match 50 cents for every dollar donated through St. Mary’s by 9/13, up to $4000.
Ways to give:
- Cash – mark on the envelope which organization you’d like to support
- Check – made out to St. Mary’s, with “Afghan allies,” “hurricane relief,” or “wildfire relief” in the memo line
- Online – stmarysbythesea.org/donate, select “other” and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org specifying where you want the gift to go