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As we journey into our stewardship season, we continue to reflect as a community about how we have been blessed.  This week, Fal Gibson offers a reflection on her own gratitude to God for the many blessings in her life.  I hope you will enjoy the blessing of Fal in her words as much as we enjoy the blessing of her presence every week!

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Beginning each day with “Thank you, God,” I set the tone for the entire day.  Whether I am going to work, or looking forward to a time of celebration with family or friends, starting today with an attitude of gratitude reminds me that God is the source of all blessings. I am thankful for blessings large and small, for expected and unexpected ones, and for the special people in my life.

I am blessed to be a part of St. Margaret’s church family, so I asked myself the question, what shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me?  I need to support my church financially. I offer with joy and thanksgiving what God has first given me – my family, time and possessions. “Giving is a privilege, something we appreciate being able to do as a result of God’s grace.” (2 Corinthians 8:4)

Our church cost money to operate and, thus depends on the contributions of our members to meet the expenses.  The expenses that come with our lovely St. Margaret’s church: utilities, maintenance, upkeep, our educational programs, materials and equipment, St. Margaret’s newsletters and mailings to members and/or others in the community. The Bible says that everyone is to give “according to means” (2 Corinthians 8: 3, 11).

I pray for all of God’s children and see each one being divinely blessed.  I pray for all members of St. Margaret’s Church and for the beauty, joy and wisdom we all share as being part of a beautiful church family. Everyone is a unique and purposeful creation. I pray that every member is blessed with love, food, shelter, and safety.  I pray that the Episcopal Church of St. Margaret, with its red, welcoming doors will continue to be an important part of your spiritual journey. “Giving is a witness to the gospel, demonstrating the genuineness of the church’s love,” (2 Corinthians 8: 8, 24).

During our Stewardship campaign, I ask you to take some time and pray about how you can use the blessings, you received from God to further HIS Kingdom.  I think as receptive Christians you will be moved by scripture and the spirit to go beyond providing such support to give up a further portion of your money as a sacrifice.  Support and sacrifice: the first is our duty; the second our delight. I knew a member of our parish, Miriam Emerson, who made it her duty to make sure that the children at the Lillian Valley School in Barefoot, Idaho received school supplies, and the seafarers through the Seamen Institute received knitted hats and scarves every year with great delight.  Miriam was indeed a blessings to the St. Margaret’s church family and many others, and I was truly blessed to have known her.

I like to say that stewardship puts into practice our faith in God as our Creator, our Redeemer, and our Sustainer. Everything we are and everything we have belongs to God.  Can you feel the Holy Spirit at St. Margaret?  Can you count your Blessings and name them, one by one?  I can.  I pledged.  Wouldn’t you pledge and help Rev. Jennifer do the work within our parish and the outer community as God has called her so lovingly to do?

~ Fal. Gibson

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