Keeping in mind that Stewardship at Nativity is a year-round Mission, I wanted to advise you of a few timely matters –
First, I thank all communicants who returned a pledge card following Stewardship Sunday. A good number were returned, and I encourage all who have not yet done so that that it is not too late. Cards remain available in the office and in the back of the church, so if you haven’t returned a card, please do so. I would also encourage those who pledge to consider the automatic bank draft feature. Pledges give the Church some measure of certainty in financial planning, but the automatic draft feature really helps with day to day bookkeeping tasks.
Second, if you receive the Mississippi Episcopalian, odds are that you have received a direct appeal from Bishop Seage for a gift to the Diocese. This appeal is to fund Diocesan programs for overseas missions, Episcopal Cursillo, The Gray Center and Camp Bratton-Green, and youth ministry and lay leadership opportunities. Particularly relevant today is the Diocesan Disaster Response and Relief Program, which, along with the collection at Diocesan Council, can provide some measure of relief to our brothers and sisters who are struggling from the effects of the Hattiesburg tornadoes.
Likewise, you probably received a direct appeal from Gray Center for giving. Some goals of these two appeals are common: fostering Lay leadership; youth ministry; and protecting Camp Bratton-Green and our wonderful facilities at Gray Center. We hope to bring Grae Dickson, director of Gray Center, down for a Sunday to discuss all things Gray Center and CBG, and to inform us of recent master plans involving Camp and Gray Center. With the number of children both big and little at Nativity, we really should keep a keen focus on CBG. One of the greatest experiences I have shared with my older sons is attending First Camp with Cindy Saia and the Saia boys. We have more age-eligible children at Nativity for this year than last year, and I look forward to going back.
Last, those who were able to attend the Parish’s Annual Meeting a couple weeks ago were treated to Bob Provine’s rollout of Nativity’s Endowment Fund. This is a giving ministry which will preserve and protect our Church for years to come. I encourage you to consider a commitment to the Endowment. Lindsay and I have done so, however modestly; nevertheless, these gifts will add up quickly, and grow in perpetuity. We have strong leaders as Endowment Trustees and are meeting regularly to make good, sound decisions for the fund.
At the Annual Parish Meeting, Peter reiterated in so many words that 2017 will be a year of giving. I ask that in this year of giving, you give thoughtfully, you give prayerfully, you give cheerfully, and you give faithfully, for yourselves, for each other, and for the needs of the world.
Many Blessings to You,
Harris F. Powers III