Elizabeth Svedlund: Stewardship Campaign Testimony

Given at church on Sunday, October 27, 2019

Good morning, My name is Elizabeth Svedlund. I do in fact have a tall husband, Jonas Svedlund  and 4 redheaded girls, Annika, 15 years old, Eloise, 13 years old, and twins, Katherine and Emmy, 9 years old.

I am delighted to be here today and tell you why we give to St Andrew’s Let me start by saying this has been a wonderful exercise for me to think about “why I give”

And I would suggest it might be good for you to think about as well. First — because then you will be ready when Michael Vanin tracks you down at coffee hour and asks you to speak about this topic for the Stewardship Campaign and secondly, more importantly, because only after really thinking about it did I truly appreciate how much St Andrew’s means to me and our family.

We give to St Andrew’s because St Andrew’s is a partner, a friend, a tree. A partner because St Andrew’s helps me raise my children as well as fills me spiritually. For example, St Andrew’s has fed my children on Shrove Tuesday Pancake night, clothed them from amazing finds at Bargain Haul and enables them to buy delightful Christmas gifts for their grandparents and cousins from the Little Angels’ gift shop.

St Andrew’s is like a friend.  We have taken advantage of the friends we have made within the congregation. We were able to ask our wonderful friend Susan Kemp to step in for a night as Annika’s Confirmation partner — when my husband, Jonas, and I had other commitments and couldn’t attend the confirmation class with Annika.

Our friend D. D. Alexander whom I met on the Church School Committee and with whom Jonas taught Rite 13th, joined us for Eloise’s 13th birthday. We went to Nashoba Valley one cold Friday night — and hurled ourselves down steep slopes on tubes. A tree because St Andrew’s helps us to branch out by teaching my girls how to sing through the choir program, light a match through acolyting, and helps my girls think about wonderfully hard moral questions concerning what it means to be Christian through the confirmation and Rite 13 programs.

St Andrew’s also helps me get more involved in our greater community through the Firearm Task force and outreach programs. And I am excited about the possibility of going on a mission trip with my girls.

As you can see, I rely on St Andrew’s for food, shelter, guidance and friendship.

And I want St Andrew’s to be around for not just me and my children in the future, but for those who come after us. I have loved reading about the congregation from years past getting together and sewing pew cushions for the church, making it a better place. I realize that now it is my turn to help take care of the church.

This conifer that is St Andrew’s needs to be around for us, and for the next generation.  As the classic children’s story, The Giving Tree, illustrates, I can’t just take and take and not give back. I am grateful to St Andrew’s for all that it gives to me and I am honored to be able to give back and support the “vision 20/20 looking ahead”. Thank you.

2020 Step Up Chart