Under God's leadership
A recent Tina Fey and Amy Phoeler film brilliantly articulated what many of us experience at St. James': "A house is just a building. Home is a feeling." New parishioner Bob Stinson's reflection on his family's giving makes clear the connection between caring for this physical place and being cared for in this spiritual space. Read on...
My name is Bob Stinson.
I am a new member of St. James Church. My wife, Mimi, and I moved here from Santa Fe, New Mexico, last December. In Santa Fe, we were active members of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Faith (which, in Spanish is Santa Fe) and before that we were active members of a large episcopal church in Houston for twenty-five years.
Although I'm a member of the Stewardship Working Group here, I was at first skeptical to share my thoughts on giving at St. James' because we are so new. What would I have to offer in the way of telling about my life at St. James'? But then -- and I trust it was God-given -- I realized that I had a story of welcoming and expectation.
Mimi and I had no plans to ever leave Santa Fe when we moved there. I felt I could run my architectural business remotely as so many businesses do now, and looked forward to servicing several large national business accounts through my staff while enjoying New Mexico.
That ended when a perfect storm of mergers in the commercial field and political firestorms in my educational work removed several of my major accounts. I realized that I would have to reinvent my firm, and Mimi and I worked to do so through our New York clients.
After averaging 15 trips per year to New York, Mimi finally said we needed to move -- and we did, and it was hard.
Church has always been important to us and we immediately looked for a church home. St. James' was suggested to us by some former New Yorkers we knew who lived in Santa Fe. It looked right. We talked to Brenda after a service. We had lunch with Will. The next week, every priest knew our names. You have no idea how important that was to us as newcomers acclimating ourselves to life here.
We were invited to Bible studies and the Boys of Summer fellowship group. Our new life was moving forward.
When I was invited to reflect on our giving, I was struck by the sense of expectancy I experienced -- that we are on a new, positive path and that St. James' is very much a part of that. You have been wonderful to us. We are also enjoying being close to our daughter and son-in-law who live in the city, and my business is growing.
With prayer and reflection, I know that God has led us to New York -- and more specifically to St. James' -- and that God has been with us throughout our transition process.
When we joined, we pledged, as that was what we have always done. At that time, we pledged because of habit. Now that St. James' has become our church home and we have had time to reflect on God’s work in our lives. We look forward to pledging, under God’s leadership, a meaningful percentage of our income, reflecting our gratitude for his work in our lives.
I want to thank all of you for the welcome you have given us.
Consecration Sunday is coming! Join us for worship on November 13, Consecration Sunday. Together, we will ask ourselves “What percentage of my income is God calling me to give?” We will celebrate our work together at celebratory meals after worship on Sunday, November 13. So please plan to come! Contact our Administrator for Stewardship & Operations to learn more about Consecration Sunday and Stewardship at St. James'.