Finance First Friday: So What Next?
Epistles and Epiphanies
by sarahatstjohns
1y ago
by Eliza Mae Lundberg I met Eliza Mae Lundberg, and her then fiance Jon, in 2018 when they were planning their wedding. Over the years since I have enjoyed meaningful and inspiring conversations with Eliza. Knowing she would bring a young but wise perspective to our leadership team, I was thrilled when Eliza accepted the invitation to join St. John’s vestry last year. Aware that she has been going through some life transitions and facing some big questions, I invited Eliza to share her reflections as they relate to her faith and finances. While our situations are all unique I believe Eliza ra ..read more
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Finance First Friday: Pledging as a Spiritual Practice
Epistles and Epiphanies
by sarahatstjohns
1y ago
It is the first Friday of October which means those emails and letters asking you to make a pledge of support for next year will soon be arriving. But why? Why should you make a pledge? Why not just give? I knew the perfect person to answer those questions, long time parishioner, former warden, and stewardship chair, Lynn Hertz. I have had the privilege of working with Lynn for many years and I know that, for her, pledging is a spiritual practice very dear to her heart so I asked her to share her thoughts with us. As church members we are familiar with the request each year that we pledge som ..read more
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Finance First Friday: Decolonial Stewardship of God’s Resources
Epistles and Epiphanies
by sarahatstjohns
1y ago
by Sarah Dull The first faith forum series this fall is Decolonial Stewardship of God’s Resources. In preparation, I thought it may be helpful for us to look at how we got away from the early teachings of stewardship and some ideas for practicing decolonial stewardship of God’s resources. Before we start, a quick reminder: In the September/October 2021 issue of The Evangelist Magazine I explained stewards are people of authority who are entrusted with the duty of managing and caring for another person’s property and how God made us stewards of what God has made. Christianity was born amongst ..read more
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No Escape
Epistles and Epiphanies
by sarahatstjohns
1y ago
by the Rev. Barbara Mraz Abortion rights, the abomination of gun laws, or my three favorite movies of all time — much as I would like to hold forth on these topics from the pulpit, the implicit expectation is that the preacher will address at least one of the lessons for the day. It can take finesse or sneakiness, if you will, to still address the topic you really want to talk about.  I have focused on one phrase or even one word from one of the lessons in order to work in an issue I’m passionate about. This coming Sunday, however, there is no escape.  Everywhere I looked, there it ..read more
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Finance First Friday: Dealing with Money Avoidance
Epistles and Epiphanies
by sarahatstjohns
1y ago
by Sarah Dull A recent blog post called out the continuing anxiety most of us are still living with. Over the past few years, we have developed a public narrative that the world is scarier than ever, we are hopelessly divided into political factions, we are powerless to create institutional change, and we’re on a perilous course to global destruction via climate change.  Rev. Cameron Trimble Any of that resonate with you? It did me! The current public narrative also includes anxiety around financial matters; escalating inflation, threat of another recession, there isn’t enough, and so on ..read more
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Finance First Friday: Philanthropic Redlining
Epistles and Epiphanies
by Jered Weber-Johnson
1y ago
We have been reading, learning, engaging with, and growing in our understanding of Racial Justice over the past two and a half years. One of our parish priorities, adopted from the same Diocesan priorities introduced in 2021 by Bishop Loya, is Justice: Becoming Beloved Community. In prior Finance First Friday posts we have looked at issues around the intersection of justice and finance, justice and banking, and more. This month, our member, Erin Weber-Johnson shares with us from her field of expertise in the work she does with churches and faith based organizations around philanthropy and ste ..read more
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Summer “Light” 
Epistles and Epiphanies
by sarahatstjohns
1y ago
by the Rev. Barbara Mraz Everyone in lighter clothes due to the heat (well except for Cameron, Jayan and me who aren’t about to abandon our black!); hymns that are easier to sing (more “Amazing Grace” and less “Hail Thee Festival Day”), sermons with more jokes and lighter theology (more “Jesus loves everyone” and less “Five Objections to the Atonement”), maybe even you sneaking a few radishes out of your bag from the Farmer’s Market to munch discretely during the sermon…  These may be part of your associations with summer church.  Unfortunately, this week’s lessons are not exactly ..read more
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Finance First Friday: Money, Politics and Religion.
Epistles and Epiphanies
by sarahatstjohns
1y ago
As we head into summer holidays, St. John’s Director for Children, Youth, and Families, Katie Madsen, encourages us, as disciples of Christ, to talk about hard topics.  Money, Politics, and Religion. For most families these are no-go topics of conversation—things that should not be brought up around the Thanksgiving dinner table. You never know how Uncle Fred or Cousin Betsey might respond, after all.   Growing up in my house the rules were quite different, however. Money, politics, and religion were the three things we talked about the most. My father would say, “these are thr ..read more
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Jesus as a “Brand”?
Epistles and Epiphanies
by sarahatstjohns
1y ago
by The Rev. Barbara Mraz One pundit says that Americans are almost promiscuous in their overuse of the word love.   We “love” our dog, our dinner, a season, a song, a place. Oh, and also our friends and family. Yet how do you love when you are exhausted? When Covid is out there still menacing? When your heart is broken or when you feel helpless about the hourly tragedies in another part of the world? When you have been betrayed by a friend, a system you trusted, or your body? This week’s Gospel is about Jesus’ charge to the disciples to love each other.  We are told that God lo ..read more
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Finance First Friday: Surrender
Epistles and Epiphanies
by sarahatstjohns
1y ago
I often feel like I’ve won the jackpot -Bette Ashcroft In January, Bette Ashcroft was elected as St. John’s new Junior Warden. Knowing Bette as someone who lives their faith, I invited her to share a post about her financial story. I got an immediate response, accepting the invitation and letting me know it “would probably be on the fear I experienced when I first confronted the reality that my relationship to money was deeply entwined with my faith”. Wow! I was excited to hear Bette’s story… Some time around 1991 I was sitting in a meeting at church. I don’t remember what we were discussing ..read more
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