Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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December 9, 2022

Sisters and Brothers,

 In my Stewardship letter, I said that I want us to invest in Easter. Congregations of all shapes and sizes fall into anxious routines, perpetuating and investing in the idea that the church is dying. I want us to live into the unfolding reality of Christ’s resurrection. God is always bringing about new life and is always inviting us to participate in God’s work of creation and resurrection. I want us to invest in God’s life in our life together and in our role in this community.

 Much has happened – Pet Blessing, Sunday School, Music, Coffee Hour, Shrine Mont, Brunswick Stew, restored liturgical roles. Much is being planned – Lessons and Carols, Christmas worship, a Community Garden, Capital Maintenance, Cuban Night, an Easter Vigil, new occasions of worship, a Church Picnic. If we are going to invest in new life, that investment must come from you in myriad ways. That investment will include: 1) your fullest possible participation in our worship and fellowship; 2) your creativity and commitment of time to new ministries and activities; 3) your hospitality and evangelism as you invite and welcome others into our life together; 4) your care for one another and your compassion for the needs of our community; and 5) your financial gifts. For the first time in years, your financial generosity has outpaced our needs, and I trust that your generosity will continue to grow as we invest in the new life God is already bringing to our life together.

 To that end, I encourage you to prayerfully consider what we want for our life together and make your pledge to support our mission and ministry. On Sunday, December 18th, you are invited to bring your pledge to the altar as an offering to God and as an investment to St. Bartholomew’s future. I also encourage you to make an additional thank offering for what our life together has been this year that will be forwarded to Episcopal Relief and Development’s relief efforts in Ukraine.

 Thank you for all you do and hope for and thank you in advance for the outpouring of all your gifts. I am your brother in Christ,

 Michael