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Dear People of St Michael’s,

This summer I took part in a training for congregational development that based everything on a simple premise about church: When we gather together at church, we are here to be transformed. And then we are sent out to the world to live out that transformation. As we evaluate and plan what happens at church, these three words –gather, transform, send – are the ‘why’ of what we do.

Quite naturally the theme of this year ‘s stewardship pledge campaign is Gathering to Grow. We gather in church to grow spiritually and be transformed. We gather our offerings and abundance to help our ministries grow. Growing is part of God’s plan.

I see this in our children who are so obviously growing – the little ones of yesterday are teens now, helping to lead our worship and serve at Saturday Kitchen. I see this in our adult leaders as people step into life at St Michael’s – those we welcomed as new members now ready to lead a small group or coordinate an event. I see this in the offerings and ministries on tap this fall, as we reboot ministries that became dormant during the pandemic – Sunday adult forums, Community of Hope training, Wednesday drop-ins for choir kids – and start new things, like the youth devotional group and ESL classes. St Michael’s is a place of growth and transformation.

In our pledge drive, we ask you to pray and think about your annual giving to support this growth. Now is the time to support the day-to-day life of St Michael’s. And that makes a difference for us all!

In our family, we consider that question carefully. We made a three-year pledge for the Doors Wide Open campaign, and are paying that each year. But our stewardship pledge is what we give monthly, and we base that on a percentage of our income. Things become more expensive, yet we have seen God’s abundance transform our anxiety time and time again. So we plan to increase our pledge for 2024 by 10%, to $1320 a month. We find that when we give this faithfully, we have enough for our other needs.

God is always doing infinitely more than we can ask or imagine. I hope you will seriously and thoughtfully consider your giving to St Michael’s this year. May we grow together, and celebrate the transformation at work in us all.