Saints & Stewards
November at Rye Presbyterian, as at many churches, is a month in which we celebrate two seemingly disparate ideas. On the one hand, it is “stewardship season” – a time when most churches, including ours, seek financial commitments from its members for the coming year. At the same time, on the first Sunday of the month we celebrate “All Saints Sunday” – a day to remember loved ones from the church extended family who have passed from this life to the next. On the first weekend of the month we will solemnly read the names of those loved ones in worship. The next weekend we will commit our financial pledges to God, bringing them forward during worship. Is there a link between these two actions?
The connection, perhaps, is this. I look at the picture of the congregation outside the church in 1998, and in addition to seeing so many little children who are now college graduates, I see many faces of the “saints of Rye” who have gone from being present among us, to being present with God – people whose names have been read on a Sunday in November since then. It was they, with a host before them, who invested so generously in the life of the church before we came to be here. It was they who gave of their time, their resources and their many talents to make this church all that it is. It was they who, as stewards of this place, entrusted it into the hands of the current congregation – the current “saints of Rye.” It is now our turn. We remember their faithfulness and, grateful for their generosity, we take our place in that long line of saints as we seek to be the faithful stewards of all that has been entrusted to us.
So let us remember and celebrate those who have come before us. Let us then faithfully commit ourselves to the work of God as stewards of Rye Presbyterian Church.