Stewardship is using the gifts God has given us to do the work He is calling us to do. This doesn’t just mean gifts of money: it also includes gifts of time, of special skills and interests, and of responsible use of resources. What God has given us — hours and days, talents and skills, and tangible assets — we give back to Him and His church in the best ways we know how. The Stewardship Committee conducts the annual Fall Pledge Drive, and also directs the parish’s environmental initiatives.
From Peter Clarke, witness delivered 10/6/19
I’m Peter Clarke. I’m from the other Concord — New Hampshire, 60 miles due North. My wife, Jennifer, and I began attending St. Paul’s on September 20, 2015. It was a special service for us, as Jennifer’s daughter, the Rev. Rachel, performed her 1st service as an ordained minister. At the conclusion of that service, Jennifer squeezed my hand and told me that this is the spiritual community that we had been seeking.
The fact that she had been diagnosed as having 4th stage cancer a year prior made it even more important for us to attend St. Paul’s, and we became members of the church. On July 10, 2017, God had decided that Jennifer had suffered enough and lifted her up to heaven. I continued to attend services at St. Paul’s and have been greatly blessed with the spiritual family that surrounds me while I’m here.
As a Vietnam Era veteran, I’ve attended Veterans’ Suppers sponsored by St. Paul’s and thanks to Joe Mercure, as well as a Veterans’ barbecue. I’ve also attended the Men’s Retreat and Men’s barbecue. I greatly enjoy the music – the choir, organ, and the singing of hymns.
I invite all of you to join me with your generous stewardship pledges which are a vital part to the continuation of our spiritual community here at St. Paul’s Church. Thank you.
From Steven Lowen, witness delivered 10/13/19
I was brought up Quaker, met my wife at a Quaker meeting, and always assumed I would stay in that tradition. When we moved to the Boston area, we looked for a spiritual home, but never found what we were looking for in a Quaker meeting. Almost a year and a half ago, Alexis visited St. Paul’s one Sunday, enjoyed it very much, and started attending. I visited soon after, and have been attending ever since.
At my first visit, I wasn’t sure what I would find. I had attended Episcopal services at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City a few times. The cathedral is beautiful and the services were impressive, but felt a bit formal. I don’t recall a vibrant community there. I imagined that services at an Episcopal church in Bedford would be more warm. And as I mentioned to Chris one day, I have always loved those signs with the Episcopal shield and the words, “the Episcopal Church welcomes you.” For years I had passed the one at the intersection of Springs Road, and indeed felt welcomed, and perhaps also felt a yearning to see what it was all about.
At St. Paul’s I found an incredible church. The people here are very welcoming without being pushy. Every Sunday — and I miss very few — I leave feeling connected to God and to my fellow parishioners. Part of what I hear every week is that we are cherished just as we are, and I believe that. I hear amazing homilies — something you don’t get in my branch of Quakerism — that routinely blow me away with insights and acceptance. I’m starting to make good friendships with my fellow parishioners. Many of them inspire me with their dedication. I’ve participated in men’s breakfasts, the men’s retreat, bible study, fairs, pancake suppers, evening learning series, and more one-on-one meetings with Chris and Rachel than I can recall. I was baptized this Spring. My faith is the strongest it’s ever been.All this bounty came freely given. But I know that St. Paul’s requires financial support to keep the community thriving as it is. It seems only right to me to contribute my fair share. So this will be the second year that I pledge, and pledge gladly.