DEAR ONES:

This is a stewardship letter like no other, in a year like no other.  My first task is to thank each and every person who kept current with their pledge or gifts in 2020. Your unwavering support means the world to Christ Church and to me, and just as importantly is celebrated by our outreach partners.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

As you might have guessed, in March, when Covid-19 showed up, financial giving to the church became a concern. Despite our challenges, you have persevered.

Casa San Francisco, Amistad Mission.

I am especially gratified to report to you that we were able to maintain our commitments to our outreach partners. We kept our promises to them, despite our own challenges, because, when the pandemic got a head of steam, people started getting sick, losing their jobs, and sometimes their lives.

That’s when organizations like BEAM, Mission House, St. Mary’s, Amistad, Amazing Grace and all of our outreach partners ramped up even more than usual to help. That help included crucial financial assistance from Christ Church, which was only made possible by your faithful and sacrificial giving. In this way, our mission partners became “first responders” of a sort, and with them, Christ Church. I invite you to celebrate that with me.  I’d say it a million times if I could – thank you for your generosity and your faith.

Every milestone during this pandemic is tinged with what could have been. After all, we lost Holy Week and Easter-on-the-Beach!  We lost our oyster roast, VBS, and youth mission trips. But we have made gains too. Let’s celebrate those gains!  We have excelled at providing online worship experiences and virtual small groups. Along the way we reached and welcomed Christians from near and far to our faith community. We have been nimble, responding as needed to changing conditions and updated information.

Thanks be to God, we have started to re-gather and soon will be back to things like full choirs, youth acolytes, kids in Godly Play, and most of all breakfast with our cheese grits!  We just need to hold the line, saints.

Opportunity abounds! While so many of you have kept up your financial pledge to the church this year, and that is something to really celebrate, others have taken a more circumspect approach.  Christ Church is a family, and families work best when we all chip in generously and sacrificially.  Won’t you please join us?

Join me in celebrating what you have done for others in 2020. Let’s do it again in 2021! Please join me in making a pledge to the 2021 Bold Love Stewardship Campaign. No pledge or gift is too small.

If you are a long-time pledger, I thank you in advance. You are the engine of the church! If you have given gifts in the past but have never pledged, I hope that you will consider making your first pledge. It’s the next step in your discipleship.

And if you have never given to your church, please know that all that we do starts with the generosity of our members. We need you to join the mission, to have some “skin in the game,” and to feel the celebration of that mission work. To do our part in the community and the world takes all of us. That was proven by the many first-time givers in 2020 who helped us remain foundational to your outreach partners.

Christ Church in the Courtyard

In the face of this pandemic, we cleave to that which does not change: the grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. We look forward to new blessings in 2021 as we hold fast to faith, hope, and the unconditional love of Jesus Christ.

And let’s not forget…

He is still Risen, He is Risen indeed, and with Him, us!

Thanks be to God.  Amen.

Fr. Tom+