Building into the Future
2024 Stewardship Campaign
Each year, we invite our members, guests, neighbors, and friends to discern how they are called to support the work we do here at St. Augustine's. During our Stewardship Campaign this year, we are reflecting on how we can make Jesus the foundation of our lives, and what it means to build on that foundation, both as an individual, and especially as a community.
Throughout October, St. Augustine’s is holding our 2024 Stewardship Campaign: Building into the Future. We are reflecting together on what this community means to us, and asking our members to commit to supporting us in two different ways:
We ask you to support St. Augustine’s with your Time & Talent.
We ask you to support St. Augustine’s with your Treasure.
Each aspect of Stewardship is crucial, and we hope that your stewardship of our church community is a broader part of a life of stewardship: we know that all we have is given to us by God—so how can we live as good stewards of God’s gifts?
The structure of our community supports us. We build on the gifts we receive from our relationship with God and others. Stewardship is about using our time, talent and treasure to find our place in this structure.
Jesus himself stressed the need to build wisely when he said:
“Everyone, then, who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall because it had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!” (Matthew 7:24-27)
At St. Augustine’s, following the example of Jesus Christ, we are building a community together.
St. Augustine’s Mission:
We are a community guided by the Holy Spirit, seeking to show God's love for all, since we know that "Christ will come again when the Christ in me sees the Christ in all of us."
St. Augustine’s Vision:
Guided by Jesus Christ, filled by the Holy Spirit, and with courage, curiosity, and creativity—we will reflect God’s love and grace in worship, study, service, and fellowship by honoring, empowering, feeding, and welcoming the whole community in all its beauty and diversity.
We might think of our community as itself a kind of spiritual building. Our mission and vision statements, developed directly from the life, ministry, and teaching of Jesus, are meant to be the blueprints for this construction.
The building process then begins with our past: the foundation laid by those who have gone before. St. Augustine’s was founded as a truly interracial Episcopal parish in 1961. This emphasis on racial equality and justice is essential to who we have been and continue to be.
Our present might be considered the ground floor: this is where we live and act now. This floor is where our doors are open. These doors are how we welcome people into our community now, the way we welcome people to the work we are doing. Meanwhile, the windows let the light in: they show us what’s actually going on in the world, so that we can respond with loving-action.
Then, we have the floors above, representing our future. We might think of a church not as a completed building, but as a building-in-progress: it’s like we are living on the bottom floors even while we are building the floors above us.
These upper storeys of the building are the work we do to prepare for the future. How can we get St. Augustine’s ready to serve not only the needs of people today, but the needs of those who will join us in the years and decades to come?
Here’s the thing: if we are building together, then we will need people with all kinds of skills: just like a construction site needs carpenters, masons, plumbers, electricians, and architects, a church needs many different skills too. Some people’s work will be obvious and visible—like a carpenter’s doors or a mason’s walls—while others’ work will be less visible yet still crucial—like a plumber’s pipes or electrician’s wires.
The point is this: if this building is going to go up, we all have work to do.
Doing the work of the church is what we call Stewardship of Time & Talent. And if we move away from our building metaphor, we can see that this work will likely take one of 3 forms at St. Augustine’s:
You can volunteer to serve during our Sunday services, as a reader, greeter, acolyte, a member of the Altar Guild, or as an A/V Guild volunteer.
You can volunteer to serve on one of the committees that helps to make decisions at St. Augustine’s through leadership and planning, such as the vestry, the finance committee, the Stewardship committee, the Buildings & Grounds committee, etc.
You can also choose to volunteer in direct service to the broader Southwest community. This can take many forms, but the most common way we do this at St. Augustine’s is through our Bread for Life ministry, which regularly feeds over 90 people each week.
It is our hope that every member of the church will find at least one volunteer opportunity, such as those described above, and commit to that work in 2024. Alternatively, if you have an idea for another, new way to serve, please be in touch with Scott & Chee-Chee. They’d love to hear new ideas about how we can serve together!
We will hold a Ministry Fair on October 15. During this time, you can meet the leaders of our different ministries, and find one that’s the best fit for you. You can also learn more about our ministries in our 2023 Ministry Catalog.
And if you've found a ministry you'd to volunteer with, just email Rev. Scott at email@example.com and let him know!
Of course, as centrally important as these gifts are, our community needs another kind of giving too. Like any organization, we have expenses, and so financial giving is also a crucial aspect of Stewardship.
Just as with the giving of time and talent, though, our Stewardship of Treasure will depend on who we are and our specific capacities. Not everyone has the same amount of money in the bank, and so some will give more and some less. What’s important is that we ask everyone to commit to giving what they can, no matter how modest they think that may be.
For many of us, this will involve financial pledging. Pledging is very helpful to our community because it gives us a prediction about how much money we might have available during the next year to pay salaries, bills, and our other expenses. Even so, some people may not have a clear idea of what they will be able to offer, and so they may choose not to pledge but will instead commit to supporting the church as and when they can. We always appreciate our members’ and guests’ financial support, no matter its size or form.
During our Ministry Fair on October 15, our finance committee will be available to explain the basics of our expenses and income. We hope that you will join us to learn more about our financial gifts and needs. As you learn more, we hope that you will then prayerfully consider what financial generosity you can offer in 2024. You can also find some of this information in the Financial Summary & Decision Guide included with this Stewardship Packet.
Our campaign launched with a special Stewardship Sermon from Rev. Scott on October 1 (which you can watch above). As we mentioned above, our Ministry Fair will take place on October 15. And we will wrap our campaign up on November 5 with a celebratory potluck! Thanks for reading, and we hope you’ll join us in Building into the Future together!