Annual Giving 2021
Countless Gifts of Love
Thanks to your sacrificial pledges and giving time and talent to Saint James, your parish in 2020 has proclaimed more faith, hope and love in the world than ever before. With so much unplanned in this year I am writing later than I had planned about both our annual giving campaign and soon after this, about our exciting capital campaign.
In such challenging times I am asking as many of you who are able to give in 2021 what you so generously did this past year in pledged or regular giving. I know this will not be possible for everyone, but we will gratefully receive all that is given so faithfully by so many and we will continue to do remarkable things together in Christ. In the coming year, we will carry each other’s burdens, trim costs and focus on our most important work. I hope you are reading the daily Advent Calendar posts on Realm, social media or our website. Each one tells a story of how precious we are to each other!
In a tumultuous year Saint James has helped heal divisions in our community when despair and even violence was threatened. We have literally given over our church on weeknights as a safe haven to those recovering from addiction so that they can meet safely to support each other. We have married, and prepared for marriage, those in love. We have baptized in our fountain and font. We have visited the sick in person and online. We have buried those whom we have loved and lost and now hold within the communion of saints. We have learned to worship, pray and connect with one another in new ways. Our ministry and study groups continue to nurture each other and serve our community. Our youth ministry is relaunched,
and our children and families are being supported as they do an amazing job coping with the multiple challenges of family life in a time of pandemic. The Urban Well’s deep work of contemplative prayer and spiritual exploration is now an integral part of Saint James with hundreds of participants. While the practices of interior prayer, stillness and silence, or the need to learn to pray in our bodies with stretching and walking, seemed unimportant to some, our months of shutdowns and lockdowns made it plain how essential this spirituality is in the 21st century.
While our country still has a long way to go on our journey toward racial justice and reconciliation, we have the tools and hearts to play our part. I know this because of the work of The Urban Well’s Mercy Seminar that enabled Christians and Jews to study, reflect, share, weep and keep silence together as we faced the demons of antisemitism that so long bedeviled Christianity in ways and for reasons none of us could at first comprehend. Completing three 6-week terms through the pandemic, we left with hearts and minds transformed by new understanding, repentance and unity of faith in God.
Beloved, let us love one another as Christ loves us! May this year of suffering find renewed purpose and commitment in your giving to Saint James in whatever way possible.
With tidings of comfort and joy,
The Rev. David W. Peck, Rector
Two ways to make your 2021 annual pledge:
With a Realm account
Pledge by mail