All Things Come of Thee, O Lord

  • By proadAccountId-400629
  • 09 Oct, 2017

The life of stewardship

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Growing up in the church, this verse of Scripture from 1 Chronicles 29:14 was repeated after the priest received the offering from the ushers: “All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee. Amen.” It was a poignant reminder that all that was placed in the offering plate, and our very lives, are gifts from God. All that we give to Him was His first. This is an important reminder in this season of uncertainty. The life of the Christian disciple is the life of stewardship — time, talent, and treasure.

1 Chronicles 29 comes at the end of King David’s reign. He is preparing Solomon for his great task of building the Temple. As he gathers the necessary items for the task, David reflects in prayer — "All things come of thee." As we prepare and gather all that is necessary for the fulfillment of the Vision that God has given us, it is particularly important for us to acknowledge God’s gracious hand of provision. How will we steward God’s gifts to His glory and to the growth of the Kingdom?

We will have many opportunities in the days ahead. You will be asked to respond to requests from worthy ministries like Radiance Women’s Center, Young Life, and Holy Trinity to give and to participate. There are service opportunities that abound in our common life, and later in the month, we will ask the people of St. Helena’s to respond to God’s grace in making a pledge for 2018. All of this is the normal life of the Christian disciple. Each opportunity is a response to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

My prayer is that God would make us ever more generous with all that He has given us.

All things come of thee, O Lord,
Shay+

A Word from Shay

By proadAccountId-400629 13 Nov, 2017

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 
This past week I had the first opportunity since we officially joined ACNA to participate in a training with our new partners in ministry. The conference I attended is known as RSVP – Rectors Summit for Vision and Planning — and was held in Concord, Massachusetts, with leaders from as far away as Idaho and Colorado.
 
Although the name describes vision and planning, the retreat is more comprehensive than that. Each day we spent a full section and a small group time on the Pastor’s Heart. I can honestly say that God really used this time to open my eyes to some unhelpful patterns and to remind me to slow down. We also had a section focused on generosity and how to lead the congregation into a greater understanding of giving in the life of a Christian. I have much to share.
 
In the midst of all of this learning, what stood out most is how blessed we are to be a part of ACNA. The leaders with which I was honored to attend are dedicated pioneers with many great strengths and gifts. They are men of prayer and deep worship. They are devoted to wrestling with theology and how to engage the secular culture. They are creative and passionate. I also realized that we are the new kids on the block. We have a lot to learn about the ethos and direction of ACNA, but I am encouraged by our partnership.
 
Finally, these brothers and sisters are concerned about our situation in the courts and are praying for us. As you know our mediation was scheduled for Monday-Wednesday. They prayed and asked me to keep them informed. You may have heard that after a day and a half the judge recessed the mediation to reconvene December 4-5. Since the proceedings are completely confidential, there is no new news. Our calling is still to pray. Even as I left the conference, I was encouraged by these new friends that we should use the resources they possessed after so many of them walked the same path we are on. It was a great reminder of why a province is so important.
 
As we move forward, I am so thankful for the partnership we have in the Anglican Church in North America to “reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.” Please keep all of our leaders in your prayers, especially our Bishop and the legal team. We trust in God’s perfect plan.

With hope,
Shay +

By proadAccountId-400629 03 Nov, 2017
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. — 1 Timothy 2:5
 
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
 
I am so thankful for you and for this special week at St. Helena’s Reformation celebration, Evensong, Bazaar, Kingdom Kids, and All Saints’ Sunday. We have so many reasons to be grateful to God in this season.
 
On Monday the Diocese of South Carolina and the parishes including St. Helena’s will be involved in a non-binding mediation process set up by the Federal judge in our case. The breadth and depth of our dispute with the Episcopal Church is a good reason for caution about the potential positive results of mediation. However, I want to call for the constant, focused prayers of the faithful around this process. I believe that there is hope for mediation because of the One Mediator  Jesus Christ.
 
Let me tell you why:

  1. Gabriel exclaims to Mary in Luke 1:37, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” It seems impossible that parties that have been at odds for so long could find a place of agreement through mediation. Our hope is not in the skill of our lawyers or the strength of our arguments; our hope is in Christ alone  the one Mediator.
  2. In James 5:16 we are told, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” Our prayers have great power because they are mediated through the person and work of Jesus Christ. He sits at the right hand of the Father and pleads our case. When we pray in the name of Jesus, we pray with great power.
  3. Jesus teaches us in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” The premise of this teaching is that the Father loves to give good gifts to His children. How do we know this? What causes us to ask boldly? We know this because of the “good gift” of His Son Jesus  our Mediator and Advocate. So, we ask boldly and with confidence.  

Will you please join me in prayer for this mediation process especially on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday? Will you pray for our team  Bishop Mark Lawrence, Henrietta Goulding, and Alan Runyan? Will you pray for Judge Anderson, the mediator, and the team from the Episcopal Church?
 
I do not place much hope in mediation, but I have great hope in the One Mediator  Christ Jesus our Lord.
 
With hope,
Shay +

By proadAccountId-400629 13 Oct, 2017
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Tara and I will be facilitating a Visionary Parenting group on Wednesday evenings at WASH beginning this Wednesday (Oct. 18) at 6:15 p.m. We will meet in the Cranmer Room and take time to get to know one another and to hear great teaching from our Kanuga speaker, Rob Rienow. No pre-registration is required.

In 2007, a Visionary Parenting class had a profound impact on me and Tara. The biblical teaching from this class convicted me to grow as a husband and a father. We learned the importance of family worship and a new heart for discipline.

Join us for great discussion and teaching and plenty of laughter (required to survive parenting).

Blessings,
Shay+
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