Stewardship and Pledging for 2021
Stewardship Letter 2021
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
To My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
For calendar year 2021, stewardship for the ministry of St. Uriel's is going to take on a completely different look. We are all painfully aware of the effects of Covid -19. Throughout the world, people are suffering with the virus, and sadly, many families have lost loved ones. We are all are taking seriously the proper precautions needed to stay healthy. In some instances, it means isolating away from loved ones and friends. No one is immune to the ill effects of this virus.
On the economic side, many businesses have closed their doors never to reopen again, while many other businesses have had to lay off employees. This means an increasing level of unemployment. Many families are struggling to pay the rent or mortgage as well as credit cards and other bills. Divorce rates have increased along with cases of depression, spousal abuse and alcoholism.
The Church, the Body of Christ, is not immune to the drastic changes in the way in which she is to carry out the work of the Gospel. The Church is learning new ways to cope and minister to the needs of the People of God. What is really painful to me is the limited number of people who can come to Mass to receive the Eucharist, while other members who are in the high risk category must remain at home. It is currently impossible for me to visit the sick in many of our rehab centers due to strict visitation protocols. The only exception being made is for Last Rites. I certainly understand the need for caution in order to protect the safety of their residents. However, it is painful for those who are not able to receive the Eucharist and anointing with its many healing benefits.
We all desperately desire to be together once again as a faith filled community and come together in worship of our blessed Lord. We all miss our times of fellowship during coffee hour which provided times to share our lives together. We give thanks for the technology of StreamSpot and ZOOM in that parishioners who must stay at home may at least be able to participate in the liturgies by way of the internet. However, it is still not the same as worshipping together as we feed on the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Over the last nine months, ZOOM classes, or virtual classes as they have come to be known, have become the norm. Even with all this wonderful technology, many questions still remain which the Church is seeking to answer. For instance, “How do we, the Church, carry out our pastoral ministries in visiting the sick and elderly while doing everything humanly possible to keep those individuals we are visiting safe?”
As we enter 2021, we will be praying and searching for new and innovative ways the Church can continue her ministry both Sacramentally and pastorally. How will our 2021 Budget reflect the ministry of the parish both in outreach and in Christian formation?
These can be frightening times. Yet, over the ages, the Church has been on the forefront, ministering Christ through all world calamities, famines, pandemics, wars, and the sort. The Church will continue to proclaim the saving message of God in Christ Jesus who has overcome the world. He is the One who is the Victor over sin and death; Jesus Christ.
I have been very pleased with the number of people are still participating in our liturgies from home. As I say Mass, I really do feel your presence and that is most assuring. Still, my prayer is that our absence from each other and our ability to be in community with each other never erode away. By the power of the Holy Spirit who brings unity, we will overcome this adversity
I have enclosed a pledge card for the calendar year 2021. It is my deepest hope and desire that you and your family will give prayerful consideration in your financial support to the ministry of St. Uriel’s as we continue on our mission in 2021.
Father Russell A. Griffin, SSC