This Week at St. Stephen’s–November 18, 2012

FREELY RECEIVED. FREELY GIVE.

Nothing makes Giving easier, or more natural, than a full and thankful heart. In fact, as Christians, the only way to give is joyfully, as an expression of thanksgiving for God’s extravagant goodness to us. Anything else—duty, obligation, compliance—is not a gift at all. For the Apostle Paul reminds us: God loves a cheerful giver!

We are thinking of Giving this week as this year’s Stewardship Campaign wraps up. For six weeks we have been reminded both of the real needs of our world, and also of the many blessings we have received here at St. Stephen’s. Putting the two together, the action required of all of us becomes clear: Freely give, as freely we have received.

The need we have focused on these last weeks is homelessness here in Calgary. A few years ago, as the City began its Ten Years to End Homelessness, we noticed a remarkable drop in children and young families staying as our guests at Inn From the Cold. But the trend has now reversed itself (perhaps through migration of so many to this part of the country, looking for work) and now we are seeing as many young families as ever.

The Giving we have focussing on is Time, Talent and Treasure, wherever we ourselves know the most abundance. Time implies volunteering; Talent involves engaging our skills and experience; and Treasure means money. However you feel called to share in God’s work, we are all blessed by your full and thankful heart!

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