“WANTED: ACTIVE MEMBERS”
Planning and budgeting for 2013 has us thinking about the engagement of our members. Many of us have come to church as “consumers”, shopping for the best product at the lowest cost. But then something happens once we settle in. We grow attached to the place and its people, and begin looking for ways to get more involved and to deepen our commitment.
There are two types of involvements at St. Stephen’s: the “What’s in it for me?” programs, and the “How can I help?” jobs. The first have to do with our needs, the second with the needs of others. And both are legitimate. Jesus reminded us that we are to love God, and then to love our neighbours as ourselves. So, loving ourselves—taking care of ourselves and attending to our own needs—becomes the basis for loving our neighbours … because it is not out of need, but out of an abundance of love in our own hearts.
Our needs get met through educational programs like the Lenten Bible study, or Dinners for 8, by engaging worship and attentive pastoral care. We meet the needs of others through Inn From the Cold and the Feed the Hungry Dinner, through the Rector’s Discretionary fund and the City’s Ten Years to End Homelessness.
And then there is the Job Jar: chores that someone has to do—both for ourselves and for others—like organizing a Spring Clean-up or counting money. More about all this in the weeks to come.