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Rising to the Challenge: Stewardship 2022

Enriching Our Faith

Allen, Sylvia, and Emily Bergstrom

Our family has been coming to St. James’ for almost a decade.  Time flies!  We came searching for community, and found so much more.

This community has enriched our faith.  Emily had her first formal Eucharist here, and Sylvia and Allen were received into the Episcopal Church here.  We’ve attended various adult retreats and religious classes.  After years of attending Sunday School, Emily now attends the youth services and “Awaken” for teens.  

This community has surrounded us with love.  Over the years we’ve shared fellowship with, and received loving kindness from, many people in our church.  There have been prayers in times of need, financial support for the kids to go to the National Acolyte Festival in Washington DC, and meals delivered to parishioners recovering from illness.  There have been beautiful concerts, pool parties, Dodger nights, and bbq’s, and our favorite service every year—Mass on the Grass—where our dog, Pickles, can join us and be blessed.  Through all this, our family has gotten to know many interesting and lovely people, and pets!

There have also been a wealth of opportunities to “Live the Word of God” through service.  We’ve enjoyed being part of different ministries--Ushering, Children’s Ministry, Food Locker, Community Care, and the Building & Grounds Committee.  Allen currently serves on the Vestry.  Emily has enjoyed being a Chorister during the holidays and participating in the Christmas Pageant.  These days she serves as an Acolyte.

You may be reading about all these wonderful memories and thinking:  I remember that old church, but it’s not like that anymore…  Well, we believe the most important part of it was still there through the Pandemic—this church family.  Our awesome clergy provided sermons, and later whole services and classes, online so we could continue being connected.  

Parishioners stepped up to provide beautiful art and music to accompany those sermons and services, and to record the services for people to watch from home.  Now we’re slowly getting back into the rhythm of learning together, loving together, and serving together in person, and it turns out that our church still needs us to help pay the bills.  We humbly pledge to support St. James’ so that this community can continue and thrive, and hope you’ll join us too.

An Act of Christian Love

Chris and Mary Jo Wiedey

St. James’ Church is a wonderful blessing from God that we share together. It is a house of worship that provides a setting for our ministries and our devoted care. In a more profound sense, St. James’ is a living community of faithful followers, seeking the guidance of our Lord.

And yet, the season of Christian Stewardship reminds us that none of these blessings are our own. We are merely caretakers of what God has given us. Our calling as Christians is to extend faith, hope and love in the present and in the future. This calling requires resources.  

We first pledged to St. James’ when we moved to Pasadena ten years ago. We made many new friends whose dedication to St. James’ served as an inspiration and incentive. We found the Sunday Eucharist service to be thoughtful and sublime. Of course, as musicians ourselves we appreciated the high quality of music at St. James’.

But while all of these reasons are important, they are secondary to the fact that at St. James’ we are challenged to think seriously about the summons to fulfill Christ’s teaching. Each week we gain deeper insight into the teachings of the Gospels, the Pauline letters, and the Hebrew scriptures. Sundays at St. James’ are never insipid.

As St. James’ enters its autumn 2021 Stewardship campaign, we ask you to consider how we might grow as a faithful community, and what kinds of resources will be needed to continue and extend the mission of our church.

Stewardship is about giving thanks for the blessings that God has given us. It is an act of Christian love that helps the church achieve its highest purposes. We encourage you to think about giving back to God a portion of the gifts you have received from Him. Please join us in pledging to St. James’.