Looking Ahead - Advent/Lenten Gleaners - Stewardship
2013 Annual General Meeting
The Annual Meeting is scheduled for the last Sunday in January (Jan. 27), immediately following the 10:30 AM service. At this meeting, besides voting on the budget and hearing from the chairs of Committees, Guilds and Organizations, the Vestry vacancies are filled.
There will be five vestry positions to be elected – Junior Warden and four vestry members. Usually four vestry positions and a warden position are elected each year. This year, a vestry member Amos Kiyingi is relocating mid way through his term, John Forde has completed two terms as a vestry member, Glendine Kirton-Ellis and Sylvia Rogers completed their first terms as vestry members and Junior Warden Richard Francis has another term of eligibility.
If you would like to serve as a member of the vestry please contact the Priest-in-Charge, the Wardens or a member of the nominating Committee.
By Deacon Paulette
Gleaners? Why and how do we use them?
Gleaners can provide a spiritual exercise when used properly. Both the Advent and Lenten seasons are times for reflection, prayer and spiritual awakening. It is more than placing a coin in a slot and handing it in at the end of the season. As you place a coin in each slot, take a few moments to think about what is happening in the season, what is God doing in your life or where are you in your spiritual life. Each Gleaner has eighty spots to insert a coin; that translates into eighty opportunities each season for prayers, devotions, and meditations.
The season of Advent it is a good time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. This is a period of anticipation, hope and waiting. Why was Jesus born; why did he come in the way he did? What was Mary thinking when God chose her to be the Blessed Mother? What about Joseph? It is remarkable how accepting he was of Mary and trusting the Angel of God not to be afraid. Faith is the answer. The birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior brought a light to the world where there was only darkness. Jesus asks us to be like him by being a beacon and bright light for others. Jesus came to save the world (all the people in the world - not just the Israelites. He could not save us just by His birth and being here to teach us. He had to return to His Father and leave us to continue his good works.
In the season of Lent, we are asked to make sacrifices and do penance. Some people give up eating certain foods or drinks that they enjoy. In the Lenten Gleaners as you put a coin in a slot, you can start thinking of the meaning behind the Stations of the Cross. Lent is also a good time to make reading the bible a part of your daily devotions, if you are not already doing so. Resisting temptation, being prayerful and asking God for forgiveness for our sins: these are the expectations during Lent. Each of the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John tell the story of the coming of our Messiah. Jesus was a teacher, a leader, a man without sin; he was God and human at the same time. He suffered for our sins and died for us so that we would have eternal life. He died for you and me, for our forefathers generations before us.
Just as John the Baptist taught repentance of sin to gain heavenly rewards. Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice because "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son so that whoever believed in Him should have eternal life.” John 3-16
As you do the simple act of putting a coin in your Advent and Lenten Gleaners, give praise and thanksgiving to our Lord God and Jesus.
Stewardship is a combination of our finances, skills and time contributed.
2013 Pledge commitments were distributed on November 25th and returned starting on December 9th 2012. It is the time of the year to rededicate our time, talent and treasures to securing the future of our beloved St Simon the Cyrenian. In past years we had worked as a great team to keep St Simon’s alive and well. With everyone’s continued dedication and increasing generosity we will ensure St Simon’s can focus on the next 100 years.
For the members who completed and returned their commitment, we thank you. The commitment you made on December 9th or later will used to prepare and fulfill the church’s vision for 2013 and onwards. If you have not submitted your commitment as yet, please complete it as soon as you can. The pledge you made on December 9th is just simply a pledge. The fulfillment of that pledge starts on January 1, 2013 and ends on December 31, 2013. Hopefully as you made your commitment or prepare to make a commitment you will consider all that St Simon’s has meant for you, all that God has done for you and how you would like to help St Simon’s fulfill its mission statement.
Treasures are extremely important but your commitment is not complete if you do not offer time and talent as well. Time and talent are vital to St Simon being a beacon in the community of New Rochelle.
We are extremely thankful to everyone for their efforts towards Stewardship in 2012. Through your efforts, we hosted several successful events in celebration of our centennial year. Your hard work and dedication throughout 2012 nourished and sustained this church and our vision for it. In keeping with the theme of The LORD has done great things for us; and we are glad. (KJV Psalm126:3) let us demonstrate our acknowledgement of God’s daily grace and blessings in our lives through our commitments of time, talent and treasures.