From the Pastor’s Desk:
November again–it’s hard to believe. The winds last weekend blew all the birch leaves away; some of the tomatoes have split open before ripening; we are disappointed harvesters. Bittersweet berries on vines tangle in the field at the edge of Lane’s Cove. Only a few asters are left, and the blueberry bush leaves are turning red. I came around the corner past the Marine Station a few days ago, when the wind blew so hard the waves were heading out to sea instead of toward Crane Beach, green and blue, whitecaps in every direction, sea birds wheeling against the northwest blast. At our house, we are digging out wool blankets and comforters. As the days grow colder, and the evenings grow longer, our cats and dog are taking more naps, curling round and round on the couch before settling in. There’s no doubt the season has changed.
At church, we have entered our Stewardship season–of course, stewardship is all year long, but in the fall, we raise our awareness of stewardship during October and November. This year, the Stewardship Committee has invited us to think of the ways our lives have been shaped by this church community. Each week, we have been telling the story of St. Paul through the stories of our members. We have asked people to consider the ways their lives intersect with the life of the church: how did we come here, what has our experience here been? What ways have our lives been touched by God working in this congregation? Without exception, we have been hearing beautiful stories of faith, from friends and families who are eager to share their experience of this community. Our lives are enriched by listening to what God is up to in this corner of the earth. Stewardship isn’t an abstract idea; in listening to these stories, we see the faces of people we love, who have been supported by the ministries of each of us in the congregation. For me, listening to these stories has become a celebration of the “priesthood of all believers,” and the richness of treasures of faith. There is no scarcity of gifts here, just abundance flowing out and over and through every life. As I write this, one of my friends, Pastor David Thorpe, of Windham, Maine, passes through the room. He sees what I am writing and reminds me that “compassion is the basis of all stewardship.” I know that’s true from listening to you tell your stories of this place. May God’s compassion accompany you and yours this November.