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Stewardship

Our 2020 Stewardship Campaign is wrapping up!

Thanks to all who have pledged to support Incarnation in 2020, committing a portion of their resources to the spread of God’s kingdom through the life and ministries of our parish.

Watch this year’s stewardship reflections.

Vestry member Susan Ridgeway gives a moving testimony about the power of church community and the many parishioners who have touched her life.

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Vestry member Alex Nelson speaks about the rich legacy of our church and how it feeds his spiritual life today. Listen to his description of the beauty of our sacred space, Incarnation’s warm community, and the power of the Gospel. “Like you, Erlinda and I are confronted with competing financial needs. However, I can’t think of one that gives us greater peace.”

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Parishioner Damian Defex speaks about the role Incarnation has played in his life, his own stewardship practice, and how the third great “I Am” statement of Jesus, “I am the door” (John 10:9), is true for him and his family. “We enter through the doors of Incarnation, where we are led towards a spiritual path that includes a wonderful group of people, a truly spiritual space, and a future that is important to nourish.”

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Read the letter below from this year’s Stewardship Chair, Mona Antaramian.

Dear Friends,
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It’s Stewardship time again, but instead of the traditional letter, I have chosen to relate a story about my great-grandfather, the Reverend Eliot White. Here are his words:
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“After having graduated from the Theological School, with the degree of B.D. (Bachelor of Divinity), I was ordained on June 9th, to the Diaconate of the Episcopal Church in St. Thomas’ Church, New York City, by Bishop Henry C. Potter, and on that afternoon preached my first sermon after entering the ministry, at the Church of the Incarnation, at the invitation of my Rector, the Reverend Dr. Arthur Brooks.
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“When I accompanied him, after the service, into the sacristy, he greatly surprised me, especially as he is far from being demonstrative, by at once laying both hands affectionately on my shoulders and saying with deliberate emphasis: ‘Some day this church will be known as the one where you preached your first sermon!’”
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Eliot White, June 9th, 1895
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Just over four years ago, I moved to Murray Hill from Florida after my husband of 25 years died by suicide. Although I had a firm foundation of friends and family and two amazing children, I still felt lost. What has sustained me through these sometimes-dark years is my belief in the grace of God.
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One day, I picked up the autobiography of my great-grandfather, Eliot White, which had been put together by my grandmother, in the last part of her life, from his Homeric volume of diary entries spanning his 96 years on this earth.
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I knew I had passed by the Church of the Incarnation. It was one block from my apartment. I was almost nervous to go into this place of worship that had played such a profound part in my family’s life in the late 19th century. I knew it would be a moving experience. How moving, shook me to my foundation. I walked into worship in July of 2018. The first few Sundays at Incarnation, tears welled up and overflowed as I listened to the liturgy, sang the hymns, and participated in Holy Communion. I finally felt like I had come home. The grace I knew to be somewhere in the world washed over me like a tidal wave. I knew this was no accident.
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Church of the Incarnation has become not only my spiritual home but also reassurance that God’s love does shine through on us all each and every day. Adrian and Doug welcomed me to this church, and I immediately knew it would always be a part of my life as long as I live in or near New York and further as I wander. I attend the 11:00 service for its traditional form and hymns. My guilty pleasure each week is Tuesday Morning Prayer, where a small but consistent group of us gather to pray for each other, the world, and anyone in need of God’s care. A bit of coffee, conversation, and sweets follow. Truly a beautiful way to start a day!
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A few weeks ago, after a much needed spiritual conversation with Adrian, I wiped my eyes and walked out into the sanctuary with her. Suddenly, I looked up in the hush of a weekday morning and felt fully enveloped in a love from Above. It brought fresh tears of joy.
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I know that, for me, this is meant to be. I know that I want to help preserve this place of worship, love, beauty, and grace for as long as I can. We are all caretakers of God’s creation and love as well as the place in which we worship that God. We are all the body of Incarnation by attending the services, chatting at coffee hour, and being part of morning prayers or midweek Eucharist.
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At this time of year, our responsibility extends to the Stewardship Campaign. For me, that’s a reminder that Incarnation has been a spiritual beacon of inclusion, love, and grace for over a century to my family. I wandered in curiously, to see the place that was so important to my great-grandfather. But then I met Doug and Adrian and found my way into the light of God’s love. Maybe the God who called my great-grandfather finally found me.
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Please join me in supporting this church. It is history, love, grace, outreach, and community; and it is important to so many friends and family today and in years to come.
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With gratitude and in faith,
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Mona Antaramian
Stewardship Chair

What is stewardship?

Financial stewardship is a necessary part of a balanced spiritual life. Like any spiritual discipline, it is meant to knit us more closely to God, to turn our hearts, to change our lives, indeed to transform our very selves. When we pledge a portion of our income to the church, we are making a conscious choice about spending our money in ways that reflect our faith and values. Pledging is a matter of saying, “Yes Lord, I will do this.” Then it becomes a matter of following through. “Yes Lord, I do make this offering.” As each of us gives, we reap the benefits of generosity and faith. To put it simply, we grow closer to God.

From a practical standpoint, pledges are necessary for the church to prepare a budget. A pledge is not a moral or legal obligation. It is simply an estimate of giving; a statement of intent about how much money you plan to give to Incarnation over a specific calendar year. Receiving your pledge allows our Vestry to plan wisely for the use of our resources in support of the work God has called us to do. While open plate offerings and other sources of income are important to the parish, your pledge lets the Vestry plan more accurately for the ministry we can accomplish together.

When considering how much to pledge, it may be helpful to think of the many reasons people give:

  • I give because I am supposed to give. — a sense of duty
  • I give to pay my own way. — a sense of fairness
  • I give to return a portion of my blessings and express my love for God. — a sense of gratitude
  • I give to keep church ministries free and available to all. — a sense of generosity

Taken together, these visions of stewardship create a spectrum. There is no secret as to how you move along this progression. However, when you push yourself to another level, you will find your faithfulness expanding as well. No matter how big or small your pledge, please know that every pledge makes a difference – in the life of the giver and in the life of the church.

Annual Stewardship Dinner

This year’s Stewardship Dinner was a down home BBQ bash. We enjoyed good food and good company, as well as live country music. Thanks to all who helped make the dinner a success. We packed the house!

Commitment Sunday

Our Stewardship Season draws to a close with Commitment Sunday, when we commit ourselves and pledge a portion of our resources to supporting God’s work through our parish. All are invited at each of our three worship services to place their 2020 Commitment Cards in the offering plate to be blessed. Commitment  Cards are mailed to parishioners and also made available at the church. They represent financial pledges and commitments in service to our church’s ministries in the parish and surrounding community. If you couldn’t join us for this year’s Commitment Sunday, November 10, feel free to make your pledge online.

Make a Pledge for 2020

 



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