To Our Church Family;
On behalf of St. Stephen’s, we want to thank you, our members, for your continued support during these trying times. We have managed to make it through some very difficult years, often not being able to meet in person, however, we have persisted and have been able to not only worship as a parish, but serve our community members, particularly this past year. And we gratefully acknowledge all of you who have not only fulfilled your pledge commitments for 2022, but have even exceeded them! We appreciate the efforts made by so many of you to regularly submit your pledges and to those who gave what they could, thank you.
We are again gathering in person. During this past year we have celebrated parish life with baptisms, weddings and remembering loved ones at funerals. We have found new rhythms of worship, service, and fellowship. We continue to provide a home for many self-help groups on an almost daily basis. We provide a safe space for our Tall Pines toddlers and preschoolers as we welcome their families. In addition, St. Stephen’s has continuously supported over 60 families through our food cupboard run continuously by dedicated volunteers from our church family.
It is an exciting time in the life of St. Stephens. We are rebuilding our beloved parish and re-energizing the programs and traditions that we hold so dear to our hearts. And, we are discovering new ways to worship and celebrate together. At this time, we are looking forward to spending time with you in prayer and fellowship. We hope you will join us for our December 18 “Hanging of the Greens” – Hamburger soup, anyone? And our Christmas Eve and Christmas services. In 2023 we are planning our Lenten and Holy Week services, Agape Meal, The Pancake Supper (races anyone?), our Youth Group, festive coffee hours and our intergenerational activities, and so much more.
We know St. Stephen’s 2023 Stewardship drive must be different in some ways because this year has put all of us in different circumstances. We know we will have increased expenses for 2023 and we know how real the worry is that our resources are, or will be, enough. We hope at St. Stephen’s you find a place of rest and refuge from the challenges of the world, and communion with God’s love. Your fellowship, worship and glorification of God are your dearest gifts to us. Whatever other gifts you bring to God at St. Stephen’s – whether time or treasure, whether modest or generous -we receive them gratefully and in the firm assurance they are more than enough in the eyes of God.
With this in mind our Stewardship message is simple: BETTER TOGETHER. In order to fulfill our goals, we need your help, by volunteering for committees such as Outreach, the Food Cupboard, Building and Grounds, Christian Education and gifting the church financially to continue to share, to gather, to serve and to love. We can do this, TOGETHER. But most importantly we cherish the gift of your presence, celebrating the love of Jesus Christ and God together by continuing to worship as a church family, welcoming all.
We will celebrate the gathering of our planned offerings at our November 20, 2022 service, when we will dedicate our pledges. Please contact the office at Officeatststephens@gmail.com for a pledge form. We hope that you will spend some time in prayer about it. Please know too our gratitude for your support and love of St. Stephen’s. And let us see, TOGETHER, what God does next.
You can bring your pledge to a service at St. Stephen’s. If you can’t come in person, please feel free to drop your pledge off at the office, or mail it in to “Stewardship 2023” St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 84 Ehrhardt Road, Pearl River, NY 10965.
We thank you for your commitment to St. Stephen’s and wish you many generous blessings.
Lisa Scher – Vogel Kathy Fastoff
Stewardship Co-Chair Stewardship Co-Chair