Make a Stewardship Pledge for 2017
Make A Difference: Stewardship 2018
Neither Height Nor Depth
WHAT IS "STEWARDSHIP" AT GOOD SHEPHERD?
A “steward” is one who manages what is not one’s own. As Christian Stewards, we recognize that all we have is from God, and we return to our generous Creator a measure of what we have been given. God has chosen the Church as the primary bearer of Jesus’ Good News, and God has equipped every member of the Body of Christ with a gift to offer this mission.
During our annual Stewardship seasons at Good Shepherd, we invite the people of this congregation to make a financial commitment for the upcoming year. We call this commitment a “pledge,” and our pledge is a promise between us and the Lord of all creation, that we will make a priority of our relationship with God. By our pledge, we become partners in God’s saving work.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I GIVE? HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?
The standard of our Christian giving should reflect the standard of our Austin living, and, at Good Shepherd, we seek to give God our best, not just what’s leftover or what’s easy. Thanks be to God, we live in a vital, growing community, and in Austin we enjoy extraordinary privileges and opportunities. The biblical standard of giving is the tithe, the first 10% of one’s income. For some, the tithe will be a goal to which one works, while, for others, the tithe will mark a minimum gift.
We do not pledge to keep the church lawn mowed or our prayer dues current. We give because God has called us to give. The tension, of course, is that we must keep the church’s lamps lit and fund the ministry of our parish. Therefore, our invitation to Stewardship, has two goals: individually, our prayer is that every member of this congregation will give faithfully; and, communally, our prayer is that we will provide for the ministry to which God has called us.
- make a meaningful difference in the lives
of those affected by Hurricane Harvey;
- continue reaching out locally through
Hillside’s early-childhood ministry with
- support the mission of Good Shepherd
on the Hill for its highest effectiveness;
- discern and strategize the feeding ministries
made possible by the completed, commercial
kitchens on each of our campuses.
A LETTER FROM THE RECTOR
Dear Parish Family & Friends,
These last few months have been as challenging as any I can remember for us as a nation and as Texans. I give thanks for the resilience and faithfulness of our Good Shepherd community, even as I pray for God’s mercy, wisdom, and encouragement.
I am especially proud of the thoughtful word and faithful action by which Good Shepherd has positioned itself as a credible, Christian voice in Austin and beyond. I am proud of our immediate and effective mobilization in Harvey’s aftermath, readying ourselves to make a lasting impact in Texas long after the television cameras leave. I am proud of the care and attention we offer every neighbor and family in our care, sorrowing with the grieving, and celebrating with the joyful. Indeed, I look forward to all that 2018 promises, from the outstanding programs and worship at our two campuses, to Good Shepherd Episcopal School and the launch of Hillside Early Childhood Center.
Of course, these incredible ministries do not sustain on their own: only by our annual Stewardship do we have the infrastructure and capacity to inspire, love, and serve. Every year, our revenues start over at zero, a necessity inviting the discipline and joy of our continued fidelity and generosity.
Last year, our Vestry voiced high hopes for 2017. Thanks be to God and by your pledge, we met those goals: establishing Hillside’s founding Board and hiring its first Director; launching young-adult programming (for parishioners in their 20s and 30s); and expanding ministry with our most senior members.
Looking forward to 2018, we believe God now calls us to make a difference and grow our outreach in faith and service, requiring a budget increase of 15%. Achieving this increase asks established parishioners to deepen their giving and invites our newest members to step forward in faith and to make a pledge for next year.
Every member of our Vestry has made their pledge and increased their commitment, and I invite you to join us and do the same between now and All Saints Sunday, November 5.
As you consider your commitment, take heart that by these gifts, we all have a share in the ministry of Good Shepherd, deepening our connections with God and one another.
The Rev. Morgan S. Allen