Hugh MacArthur: Stewardship Campaign Introduction and Testimony

Given at church on Sunday, October 14, 2018

Good morning. My name is Hugh MacArthur, and I am a member of the Stewardship Committee here at St. Andrew’s. Allen Jones, a member of the vestry and the Head of our Stewardship Committee, would normally be kicking off our annual campaign, but as Allen cannot be here today, I have that honor.

First, I’d like to introduce the theme of this year’s effort, which is “Investing in Our Spiritual Lives.” There are obviously many ways to invest in the spiritual life. We do it when we attend church. We do it when we engage with clergy. And, we do it during many quiet moments of reading, searching and personal reflection. One concrete way to invest in our spiritual lives is to help fund this wonderful church and all of the many great things it, and the people associated with it, do.

At this point, you have likely received in the mail, an envelope filled with information about those great things our parish does, and your personalized pledge card. We encourage you to fill out the card and send it back to St. Andrews as quickly as possible. Our goals this year are to exceed 300 families participating, and to hit a total of $1.025 million raised, which is both a 4% increase over last year’s total and a nod to our coming 125th anniversary in 2019.

My family first started attending St. Andrew’s in 2014, shortly after we moved to Wellesley. During our first year at the church we explored a variety of services, and spoke at length with Adrian, Margaret and Cat about the parish, the church, its resources, and programs. Their openness, honesty and passion for what they do drew us in as a family and has bound us quickly to the church. Our four children all attend church school (with 2 in the Rite 13 program), and were baptized here. We attend services regularly and frankly feel like something is missing in our lives when events keep us away from all of you on a Sunday.

My wife Lakey and I realized quickly that the lifelong benefits provided by our spiritual home weren’t supported as we might have hoped financially. There are no cash streams from outside the church flowing through the door. St. Andrew’s not only has to raise funds to pay for all of its expenses (with some help from our endowment), but it also must do its part to fund the diocese, not the other way around!
In a world where it can sometimes feel that Christianity is either ignored or even under assault, we, as a family, want to help “pay it forward,” so that many future children can be educated in the church school, can learn about God, can hear and believe the good news of salvation, and to build the spiritual strength required to take on the challenges of adult life. It won’t happen unless we support this church. So, that is why we give, and we make it a priority.

But, don’t just take it from me. Over the next 4 weeks you’ll hear from your fellow parishioners about why St. Andrew’s is important to them and how that factors into their financial support. Some will stand and speak, as I do here this morning, and others will offer written thoughts in our weekly bulletins. Should you miss any of these testimonials, you will be able to find them on the St. Andrew’s website.

As with last year, look for our weekly thermometer tracking progress, updates in the e-pistle, and we will hold another educational session to help folks who are interested learn about giving in a tax advantaged way. We are going to run a short, sharp campaign with lots of energy right up to commitment Sunday on November 4th.

So, please pledge your generous support for St. Andrew’s. You can pledge using the cards or on-line. Payment is accepted in any number of ways. Our wonderful church, liturgical services, music, events, and outreach programs need you! Also, please do not hesitate to ask me or any member of the Stewardship committee about Stewardship. You can identify us by our buttons!

2019 Step Up Chart