Dear brothers and sisters, we are called to “fan into flame the gifts God has given us” (2 Tim 1.6–7) so together all encounter and share the Living Christ. Our vision is to be a life-giving community committed to welcome, to worship, to grow, and to serve. We are members of a vibrant parish community here at St. Timothy.
Your generous support ensures that all of us will continue to be enlivened as we gather here to worship, perform important ministries and enhance our discipleship. An active and growing spiritual life requires us to recognize our talents and treasures as gifts of grace, which we are called to manage and share as good stewards.
Specifically, our financial contributions are more profoundly evangelical in nature than we often realize, for they communicate a message of constancy and commitment to the mission of the Church. Collectively, they say “let this work, this announcement of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ go on; let our outreach to our neighbours continue and expand; let our building be a safe, suitable dwelling fit for worship, fellowship and communion, and attractive enough to invite seekers.” They also say, “God has given unto us; we are making a sacrifice to God in return.” Individually, at a more personal level, our gifts also say, “this is us in the measure with which we dare to give ourselves to you.”
In the latest bulletin announcement of our financial statement, you will have noted that we are running a deficit for the first four months of 2023 of over $32,000. The Finance Committee and the office staff have been and continue to be vigilant for ways to reduce operating expenses. Many members of our parish community contribute talent, time, and treasure to not only reduce costs but also to bear fruits to be put to greater use.
This week, the first reading of weekday Masses has been from St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, specifically his appeal to the church in Corinth to give generously to the collection being taken up for the needs of the other churches. It can be easy to simply skim over it, thinking it a mere financial appeal, but to do so is to lose the spiritual riches contained: our giving imitates and reflects the radical, self-gift of Christ in love.
“We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints— and this, not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us, so that we might urge Titus that, as he had already made a beginning, so he should also complete this generous undertaking among you. Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you—so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.
I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” (2 Cor 8:1-9)
As we move into the summer months and quickly approach September, in which we celebrate 35 years as a parish family, this is a good time to consider the blessings of God we’ve received through our parish family and assess how we wish to continue to grow our outreach as a parish. One concrete way we plan to do this is with our youth and young adult ministry. Last Summer, we hired Jerico as a concrete commitment to the young people of our church, and he published a message on the many fruits of that ministry with testimonies from the young people themselves. This Fall, he’ll be returning with the intention to grow and expand our outreach even more. What other ways do we wish to grow in confidence and identity as a parish family?
Please pray and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance on how best to foster and grow true, proportional, and sacrificial giving. Thank you and may God bless and keep you all.
“The one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor 9:6–8)
Fr. Brian Trueman and the members of your Parish Finance Committee.