Episcopalians are often referred to as the “Frozen Chosen” because we are often seen as unwelcoming to those not of our race/class/sexual preference/etc. And I have to say that this has been true of most of the Episcopal churches with which I have been associated.
Not so St. Peter’s. In the nearly 16 years I have been a member here I have always felt welcomed, cared for, and at home. We don’t make a big deal of it but we always quietly accept anyone, whether gay, disabled, or whatever. I am always gratified when the residents of Sequoia/Sabrina Homes come to the 10:30 service. They have been asked to leave other churches but always feel welcomed at St. Peter’s.
Sadly, I feel that St. Peter’s is the best kept secret around. If we could only somehow make who we are more well known then not only would we be filling the pews but we would be meeting the needs of so many in our community who could benefit from the warm, comfortable welcoming place that we enjoy.
So what can we all do about it?
First, we can work to end the constant financial struggles that have plagued St. Peter’s in recent years. If you haven’t made a financial pledge in the past, now is the time to do so. And if you do consistently pledge, consider increasing that pledge a bit. Remember that a pledge is not a legal commitment; instead, look at it as a statement of a goal for to meet. If that goal becomes a problem, no one is going to hassle you about it; we know that you tried.
Second, each of us needs to consider what we can contribute to St. Peter’s in terms of time and talent. Of course we need help in all of the usual areas–serving at the altar, altar guild, ushers, etc.–but also consider what else you would like to do. Do you have an idea for a new outreach project? Is there a favorite social event you would like to organize? Perhaps you are handy and would like to help take on one of the myriad repair/upgrade projects that always need to be done. Whatever it is, I can guarantee that you will find the experience both rewarding and fun.
Third, what can you do to spread the word about St. Peter’s? Perhaps you know someone that you might invite to a service or another event at the church. Also, is there someone who you haven’t seen in church for a while? Give them a call and ask them to come back. Tell them in your own words why St. Peter’s means so much to you and I bet you will strike a chord with them.
While you’re thinking of it… send us your pledge via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org right now! And please include three items in your note:
- Your annual financial commitment for 2018.
- Please indicate what area of ministry on behalf of St Peter’s you would like to consider.
- And finally, I ask you to enter the name of someone you intend to contact–either a member or non-member–to talk about St. Peter’s and what it means to you.
We will collect and bless our pledge cards on Sunday, November 5th. You can print out your response and bring it with you to church. Alternatively, you can copy your pledge onto a card that will be available at the back of the church that day. Of course, any pledge you send electronically will also be included in the blessing on November 5th.
With my thanks and blessings,