Stewardship 2021

One of the great stories of the Old Testament is found in the book of Esther, which describes the origin of the Jewish Feast of Purim. The story is set in the time after the fall of Jerusalem and the Jewish people are in exile. Xerxes I, the king of Persia, divorces his queen, Vashti, and is looking for a replacement. Esther, a Jewess, is a beautiful young woman who is chosen to be the queen. Her uncle, Mordecai, uncovers a plot to trick the king into ordering the extermination of all the Jews in the land. He pleads with Esther to use her influence to convince the king to stop it. She does, and the king protects the Jewish people, thus saving them from annihilation. At one point in this fascinating drama, Mordecai suggests that divine providence is at work in raising Esther, a Jewish captive, to her place as queen. Who knows, he says to Esther, “but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).
 
Since our founding thirty years ago this year, our parish has walked through times of uncertainty, conflict, growth, and joy—all of which is normal in the life of a community. This year, however, has been different than any of the previous thirty years. The COVID-19 pandemic, economic downturn, and political instability have interrupted the norms of our worship, fellowship, and service to the community. In a time of anxiety and uncertainty, however, our people have been faithful to our mission. Our presence is felt and known more widely in the community, and this fall we have been even bolder in our proclamation of Jesus’ Way of Love. Could it be that this is our time to shine the light of Christ’s inclusive and transforming love even brighter? Could it be that we have been placed here in our community for “such a time as this?”
 
Over the next few weeks, we are going to explore how God is using our community of faith right now to share Jesus’ love and the amazing opportunity that lies before us to be a people of faith, hope, and love in our time.

November 1

For such a time as this we choose DIVERSITY OVER DIVISION.

  • All Saints’ Day, sermon and adult forum topic: “All are welcome! Really?”
  • Watch for video testimonials from a diverse group of parishioners about their experience of unity in diversity at Good Samaritan

November 8

For such a time as this we choose HOPE OVER FEAR.

  • Sermon and adult forum topic: “Is the end near? Why I believe in the apocalypse”
  • Video testimonials from fellow parishioners describing how our their faith has helped them live in hope

November 15

For such a time as this we choose ABUNDANCE OVER SCARCITY.

  • Sermon and adult forum topic: “Christians and Money”
  • Video testimonials from parishioners telling their stories of God’s provision for their financial needs

November 22

For such a time at this we choose SERVICE OVER SELF.

  • Thanksgiving Sunday, Ingathering Sunday when we bless the pledges, and Renewal of Baptismal Vows 
  • Sermon and adult forum topic: “What is Christianity’s Greatest Contribution?”