2022 Stewardship Campaign
“Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy.” + Psalm 98:8 +
I don’t know about you, but I used to think I had a pretty solid grasp on what the words together and joy meant. And—to be honest—I got to experience both of them pretty regularly. Thanks, God.
And then the pandemic happened. Amid a sea of confusion, fear, and discord, we suddenly became desperate for some kind of joy, precisely when it became impossible to get together for joy in most of the ways we knew—at the FoCo Café on Tuesday nights, over coffee & donuts on Sunday mornings, at choir rehearsal, on the playground on Wednesday evenings.
So we all stretched, hard. Flexed more than we thought we could. Groaned and reached and complained (okay, maybe that was just me!) and expanded and cursed (only a little!) and wept (sometimes a lot!). And…
- We worshipped weekly thanks to our incredible team of tech people. (Engineers, we love you!)
- Heartside Hill took shape. (So many meetings. Such great partners.)
- Our Discernment Team led us into adopting a new welcome statement. (Even though we had to change the pace of the process.)
- Our Harvest of the Heart community garden produced over 1500 pounds of veggies; our summer camps & mission trips went off without a hitch; our 8+ small groups gathered regularly either via Zoom or in-person.
- Our pastoral search process continued in earnest. (And we’re still going!)
In the end, we were together after all. When we logged on for Zoom meetings, streamed worship services, organized groups to ward off loneliness, gathered our youth together for virtual campfires, we were together for joy.
And now that the world is opening back up again, we’re learning to navigate a new way of being. We can cherish the opportunities we have to be together in-person while also continuing to gather in virtual spaces for those whose circumstances are better suited to it. No matter where or how we gather, we are always together for joy in community with God, whose love covers every distance and heals every heart.
In this packet, you’ll catch glimpses of the ways we’ve been together over the past year, as well as hopes we have for the year ahead. I hope you will join me in praying for all God has for us and how God is calling you to invest in that. For Ben and me, it’s important that we give away 10% of our income each year. We give to the church because this is a place where we see our community being transformed—and that brings us joy.
Yes, so much is different; so many circumstances have changed. Yet here’s what I know to be true: with God’s help, the music we create together will be well worth the rejoicing!
See you on Celebration Sunday!
Rev. Melissa R. St. Clair, Senior Minister