October 2013

Dear Parishioners:

As we anticipate our Stewardship for 2014 there is often an air of hurried, guilty distaste surrounding the task. “Here are those cards to fill out once again!” We don’t mind giving, but must it be so often? We almost begrudge the church its need. But in doing so we are liable to overlook our own need.

In the heart of us all there is a stubborn kernel of covetousness. The whole point of giving to God is that our giving itself becomes a sacramental path for grace to enter our hearts, softening and finally consuming that kernel. Joy Davidman, in “Smoke on the Mountain”, beautifully describes the process.

“Not until Christ came were we shown the real alternative to covetousness, in that charity which not only loves to give but also takes with love. And not until Paul taught us did we understand how a man may appeal to the Grace for help against the covetous-ness in his own heart.

Christianity is everywhere paradoxical, everywhere too difficult for simple black and white thinking; but nowhere more so than in its doctrine of worldly goods. For they are good things—and yet we must not long for them–they are to be enjoyed—and yet we must not make that enjoyment our goal.

They are God’s plenty; in the form of bread and wine, they are the very symbols of that act of God which makes and keeps us man; they are ‘things we need of;’ yet we must not devote our lives to getting them.

If we have them, the best possible thing we can do is to give them away; if we don’t have them, we may expect to get them, but we mustn’t worry about it! The Savior who bestows miraculous loaves and fishes upon the multitude is the same who proclaims that man does not live by bread alone, and he who teaches us to pray, “Give us this day our daily Bread,” also warns us, “Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat?” It seems almost that we are told not to desire what, by our very natures, we cannot live without.

The paradox is easier once we remember that the text runs, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God” –once we remember the distinction between end and means. Seeing God face to face is our goal; the pleasures of life, and even life itself, are the means to it. Therefore the milk and honey and corn and wine and soft chairs and fine houses and swift automobiles—all those pleasant things—exist primarily as a kind of currency of love; a means whereby men can exchange love with one another and thus be capable of the love of God.

In charity, we value such things not only for their pleasantness, but also because we can give them away and give our love with them; or else because, in receiving them, we receive others’ love for us as a baby at the breast sucks his mother’s love with her milk.

Nowadays we usually praise the power to give, which implies worldly success, far beyond the power to take, and we are sometime ashamed of “receiving charity.” Yet Christ and the apostles were not. Though it be more blessed to give than to receive, to be fully Christian one must know how to do both with the same humility and the same joy.”

I would like to thank Thomas Rinn, Jon Stutler and our Jazz ensemble as well as our St. Alban’s Singers for a moving Jazz Mass for Rally Sunday. They did an excellent ministry and I hope they jazzed you up to Celebrate Ministry: Time, Talent and Treasure. Our focus on Rally Sunday was time and talent. If you did not join in a ministry, please take the time to call one of our ministry leaders found in our Come, Belong, Become booklet and join in the ministry of our Lord and St. Alban’s.

On Saturday, October 5th at 10 am in the Parish Hall we will have our Annual Blessing of the Animals. Bring those cherished pets to receive God’s Blessing. As I have said many times it does not guarantee any better behavior on their part or ours–but is a great way to thank God for the wonderful gift of our animals and pets.

On Saturday, October 12th, from 9 am until 2 pm at Christ the King, Fort Worth, all women of the parish are invited to join in the Fall Women’s Congress. The topic is Today’s Modern Gal—Embracing Modern Life through Biblical Principals. The cost is $15 or $17 by credit card.

Sunday, October 13th we will have a special Compline Service. Thomas Rinn our Choir Director has written an article on this special service. In addition our Brotherhood of Saint Andrew and our Youth Group will join together to host an Oktoberfest Dinner– Brats, and hotdogs for the little ones. This Oktoberfest dinner is also a fund raiser for the youth. They are raising funds to help furnish the youth room with new furniture. I hope you will join us not only for the sung service of Compline but the dinner to help support our youth group.

As I write this article we are in the last phase of hiring a new organist for the Parish. Please keep this ministry in your prayers. Hopefully soon, maybe before this article is read, I will be announcing a new staff member for our wonderful music ministry.

On Sunday, October 27th there will be a special treat for our youth. They will receive it from their Christian Education teacher. Following Christian Education, we will have pumpkin carving in the Parish Hall. Come join in this family and fun activity. Learn again the meaning of the jack-o-lantern.

Finally, you have been sent a letter and a commitment card for 2014 by our Stewardship Committee. Please place it where you will see it every day to remind you to pray to God about your commitment. Am I giving according to the Biblical Tithe? Am I able to move my commitment towards the tithe? Am I giving joyfully to the Lord? Then fill it out and return it by placing it in the box provided or the offering plate.

May God Bless and Keep you!

In Christ,
Fr. K+

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