“Plant a tree so that others will feel the benefit of the shade”
So Much To Celebrate and Support
On the occasion of our Fiftieth Anniversary last year, we compared St. Thomas’ to a tree nurtured over many years, from a seed to a sapling to the shady arbor of today. Successive stewardship campaigns have enabled us to tend this tree, which has borne much fruit, including an ambitious and inspirational family ministry tended by newly arrived Mary Beth Emerson, along with so many other members of our family.
As Fr. Stephen has explained, this ministry is not simply focused on the smaller shoots that sprout from St. Thomas’ tree. Our limbs come in all shapes and sizes, some thick and prominent, some lithe and limber, some gnarled and hale, and some obscured by many leaves. They are interconnected and spring from the same well- tended trunk, and they are spreading slowly but steadily to encompass an ever widening garden.
If you drop by the office on a weekday, let your eyes wander to the playground and its environs. It attracts all sorts and conditions of children, adults, and wildlife that our newest neighbors, in the renovated Rectory, have the best vantage to enjoy. And although we are not yet in the thick of Tyson’s Corner, our church facility will soon be closer than ever to the mainstream of the Silver Line. All the world’s a stage, and we have never been in a better position to provide a welcome sanctuary for those players.
In these times and in this area, it takes the shrewdest steward to manage what is arguably the highest standard of living in human history. We need talented ministers to further our mission, yet we cannot neglect the maintenance of the physical plant in which our family is housed. We must pay our bills to support the programs that structure our family life and enable our outreach.
The brochure we will be sending out soon shows the many ways we care for one another and our neighbors, including an important diocesan commitment that funds many national and international ministries. Our goal, based on the carefully considered budget explained in the accompanying article, is to increase pledges by 4 percent. It would be a wonderful display of family commitment if every single household could make a pledge. One of our stated goals for the campaign is to increase by five the number of households that pledge. Those new pledges could come from new members of our community, or from those who have been here a while.
The diocese has asked us to gradually increase the share we contribute to its ministry until it reaches ten percent of our outlays, and we are trying as best we can to keep up that momentum. This is a worthy individual goal as well. Please take a look at the chart included with the pledge card and ask how your own financial contribution can help nurture St. Thomas’ tree and its garden of play.
Steve Wickman, Stewardship Shepherd