Pastor Dave has office hours on Wednesday mornings, and is available Fridays by appointment. He preaches and presides one Sunday each month.
“Do not store up treasures on earth”
Matthew 6:1-4 - Giving to
6 “Be careful not to practice
your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you
will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you
give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in
the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you,
they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give
to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is
doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your
Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:19-24 - Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not store up for
yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and
where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for
yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and
where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your
treasure is, there your heart will be also.22 “The eye is the lamp
of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[c] your whole body will
be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[d] your whole body will
be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is
that darkness!24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will
hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise
the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
I love so much our Adult Christian Education Class
that is held here at St. Paul’s on Sunday mornings. The one thing that stands
out so much in this group compared to others that I have lead is the level of
engagement and curiosity. We have robust spiritual, cultural and theological
conversations that uplift me as a pastoral leader. I encourage all in the
congregation to please feel free to “drop-in” at any time between our two
worship services on Sundays in the parish hall and to join the dialogue!
the summer months, our class has been deeply engaged with scripture and study.
For the past couple of weeks, our conversations have lead us to the two above
texts taken from the book of Matthew. We have encouraged each other to look at
these texts in relation to our own lives, and we have challenged ourselves in
our spiritual walk around the idea of generosity. We are asking ourselves, “how
are we truly being generous with our time, our talents, and our treasure? How
are we giving to others? How are we giving to our communities? How are we
giving to St. Paul’s?”
the summer fades into the autumn months, all in our community will start to
think about our generosity. This time of year seems to make us pause and think
of the beauty of God’s creation. We are reminded and give thanks as the autumn
leaves turn to bright colors of orange, and yellow and red. There is often a
little bit of crispness to the air. September in many ways marks a transition
as we begin to look toward the autumn holiday season. Such days as All Hallows
Eve, All Saints Sunday and Thanksgiving all come to the horizon just like a
harvest moon rising. During this season
we are often reminded of the harvest of God’s blessings that are in our lives
that are just as real as the crops and fruits that are harvested and make their
way to our tables. In the spirit of God’s generosity, we must ask ourselves,
how are we being generous? In the above text from the book of Matthew
we are reminded, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…” I
encourage all of us during this month to take some time to pray and think about
where we are placing our treasures? I encourage all of us to ask ourselves,
where are we placing our time? Where is our emphasis in life at the moment?
Where is our giving placed at the moment? Are there places in our life where we
can be more gracious, or give more?
I am personally reminded of these
questions during this time of year because of my role in the other ministry
that I serve. Alongside my service to St. Paul’s as your associate pastor, I
also currently serve as a development specialist for Wesley Theological
Seminary. In that ministry role, I aid in focusing the attention of the alumnae
and alumni of the institution on their continual generosity. It is this time of
year that Wesley Seminary enters a time when we ask our graduates to think
about how they can be better engaged with their alma mater and how they can
generously give back monetarily and in creative ways.
I am always so inspired by the generosity of our graduates during this time of year, and it causes me to think about the generosity of the members of our community here at St. Paul’s. As we begin to enter our own season of stewardship here at St. Paul’s, let us begin to ponder and pray, and imagine together. What can give of our own time, talent and treasures to continue to uplift and grow the ministries of our church?
This autumn we will be encouraged in a new way to reflect upon our generosity. I am excited for this season, and I look forward to writing more next month.
To be continued,