Ministry is a funny endeavor because you can have a to-do list planned for any given day, but between drop-ins, unexpected calls, or pastoral events, your to-do list gets completely set aside. Yesterday I had one of those days where I left the office thinking, “Man! I only got a couple of things done today! I’m so frustrated!” But then I remembered that even though I personally only got a couple of things done, my staff picked up a lot of the floating to-do items and together, we actually got a lot of things done. Suddenly a seemingly wasted day felt like a day of accomplishment.
The last two years have been years of transition for our staff. A full-time priest left the staff right as COVID hit and was not replaced. This past summer, we had an administrative staffing gap. Suddenly, if things were getting done, they really were dependent upon my personally accomplishing them – which is never a sustainable model. It was not until yesterday that a wave of gratitude overwhelmed me as I realized how much can be achieved when you are a part of team.
This week, we will kick off our stewardship season at Hickory Neck Episcopal Church, whose theme is Every Perfect Gift. My experience this week made me remember how even our giving to church is a team effort. We work hard to do our part – giving a tithe or other generous financial gift, our time, and our talent. But our part does not sustain the work of ministry. In order to reflect the fullness of the body of Christ, each of us needs to give Every Perfect Gift – those parts that make the whole better.
As you think about your giving to the church, maybe your finances are making it such that you cannot give as much as you would like. Or maybe you are giving in earnest, but feel like you are pulling more weight than others. Or maybe you are taking a hard look at your budget and time and are considering how you can do more this year. Just remember two things: 1) your gift is perfect and is a reflection of your gratitude to God for your many blessings – making your giving sacred; and 2) you are a part of a community where everyone does their part – where we all make an impact on our community because when we all share our every perfect gift, our collective effort is stunning. You are in my prayers this year as you consider how you might share your perfect gifts with Hickory Neck!