Personal Testimony by Anne Prensner
Given at church on Sunday, October 22, 2017
My name is Anne Prensner and I’m here this morning to speak to you about Stewardship and why we support St. Andrew’s by talking about an event that happened several years ago. I think it speaks volumes about St. Andrew’s as a caring and loving place of worship, fellowship, and charity.
We don’t always know whether our community work at St. Andrew’s has significantly helped a person who is in the midst of a difficult life place. Over my 35 years as a member, one instance I can share with you is an event that happened during my years as stewardship chair.
About twelve years ago, a recession forced many companies to lay off workers. Job searching was often a prolonged and frequently disappointing process. During this time, St. Andrew’s created a support group for people looking for work. We opened this group to the broader community and many folks came and, with some success, would leave the group.
Several years later, St. Andrew’s received a handwritten note at the Christmas season. The writer wrote of his own job loss and mentioned that he had been part of this St. Andrew’s group. It said only that he had become successful in his line of work – a high tech firm gone public — and wished us a Merry Christmas. His name was not listed on our membership role and no one had a particular recollection of him. But his gratitude was genuine and, without mentioning it, an extremely generous check was enclosed. An understanding support group at St. Andrew’s made this person’s crisis a bit easier to live through for him. I don’t remember who started this small group or who led it, but our welcome made a great deal of difference to him.
What I have always appreciated about St. Andrew’s is that parishioners do give their time and talent to make this community vital and meaningful to us all. I have enjoyed making friends while participating in our church life and, as warden, saw even more keenly how many parishioners are involved and necessary to the church.
When Bob and I consider our annual our pledge, we are very aware of how important St. Andrew’s has been to us and to our family. Even when it has been difficult at times to increase our pledge amount, we worked out a budget to support a step up in pledge. We know many of you do the same and that shared stewardship enables St. Andrew’s to be a strong support and a refuge when it is needed.
We are fortunate to be part of the St. Andrew’s community. It’s even more wonderful to realize that, at any given time, people are being supported and strengthened in their lives in ways we may not ever know.