November 4, 2020

St. B's Family,  
I woke up today to the light of the Morning After streaming in. Maybe you stayed up a little late last night and are feeling it this morning. (I admit I am.) Maybe you turned off the TV and got to bed early. Whatever's the case for you, it's a gorgeous day in Nashville, and I'm glad to continue with the business God's called us to be about. The Church runs on a different clock -- rather than following the cycle of elections and administrations, the Church's liturgy binds us to the rest of the Christian family across space and time. And it's fitting; I think that one of the Psalms for the fourth morning of every month reminds us:

Some put their trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we will call upon the name of the Lord our God. 
They collapse and fall down,
but we will arise and stand upright. (Ps. 20.7)

On this Morning After, just like on every morning, we arise and stand upright. The Church's work continues -- we awaken to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. (Micah 6.8) I've tried to preach toward that lately -- toward the way it feels like God is moving our parish forward even though it sometimes seems the world is standing still. We have things to do, and that's what the Barque of St. Bartholomew is about. 

This past Sunday, I preached about that work and invited you to invest in it with me. This week launches our annual 30 Days of Gratitude and Generosity, and below you will find a link to our 2021 Stewardship Brochure: "Set to Sail." Inside you'll read how God is moving our parish this year -- toward the world, toward the poor, toward God, toward each other. You'll find a narrative of how we're investing this year in each of the areas of our Barque -- Evangelism, Service, Worship, Formation, and Community. And you'll find three concrete steps I'm asking you to take --
  1. Take account of what you're grateful for
  2. Ask God how you should respond in gratitude.
  3. Then act with a promise to support St. B's in this work in the coming year.

Thank you for prayerfully reading through these materials. And thank you for the indispensable part you play in making our Church go. If you'd like someone to talk or pray with you about these matters, please be in touch. And know I'm praying for you in these vitally important 30 Days. 

God bless you --

Fr. Sammy
Rector

The Barque of St. Bartholomew

Held in the hull of our Barque called St. Batholomew, we are set to sail in 2021: Moving toward God. Moving toward the world. Moving toward the poor. 
As we begin our 30 days of gratitude & generosity, read new reflections about the Barque, the raising of our sails, and the journey before us by clicking the button below. 
Read More Here

Stories of Gratitude & Generosity 

Throughout the month, we will be sharing stories of gratitude and generosity from parishioners. Whitney Stone shared hers on Sunday during the live-stream. If you missed it, watch >>>here. 
Today we share Thorunn & Roger McCoy's.
WE WILL!
On Sunday, we affirmed our support for Theo Abernathy, the newest baptized member of St. B’s.    
When we first arrived here, we, too, were affirmed in our growth as Christians by Maggie and Bill Ward, Nyla and Tim Villager, and Susie Woolwine. They welcomed us into a community of God’s grace by providing a place to be active in the call of the kingdom. The radical love of Christ is active; it gives.  
When there was something to be fixed or money needed, the Wards, Villagers, and Woolwines proclaimed, “WE WILL.” They have been stewards of God’s house and of Jesus’ mission by not just giving but inviting others into that blessed community, one that we now share with Theo.
Being a steward means not only to give but to invite others into our baptismal covenant to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself.” Through RITI, supper clubs, bible studies, altar guild and flower guild for Thorunn, lay eucharistic ministering, and being a verger for Roger, we continue to grow into our baptismal covenant.  
Stewardship means to welcome others into the missional life of Christ, using our time, talent, and treasure to “strive for justice and peace among all people.”  By giving, let our response to God’s call be an enthusiastic, “WE WILL.”
Thorunn & Roger McCoy

Set to Sail: How Will You Move?

As you prayerfully consider how much to give to St. B's next year, please consider stewarding your time and talent as well. 
Between now and Sunday, November 22, make your promise (i.e., pledge) for 2021 in one of two ways: 
1. Promise online here
2. Promise by printing or emailing this card here
If you are unable to access either of the above, please email Teresa at trobinson@stbs.net
A Collect for Stewardship
offered daily through November 30
Gracious God, Giver of all we have and hold as stewards; Grant the people of St. Bartholomew’s a deep and abiding awareness that all things come from You — our health, our incomes, our jobs, our talents, and our generous impulse. Send your Holy Spirit to help us swim against the rising tides of materialism, envy, individualism, and greed in our culture. When we are tempted to think of money as a private matter, remind us that You have asked for part of what we have been given to be returned to You as a symbol of our awareness that You give all we have. And, further, help us to help each other in this grace of giving, for You are the lover of souls and call us to nothing less than transformation in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sermon Links


Links to Fr. Sammy's sermons series introducing the Barque: 
Week 1: The Barque of St. Bartholomew. Listen here
Week 2: Evangelism, the First Sail. Listen here
Week 3: Service to the Poor, the Second Sail. Listen here
Week 4: Worship, the Third Sail. Listen here
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