These words, adapted from Matthew 5:14, remind us in a fun way that, although our light may be shining, “something kind of crucial” is lost if we don’t bring the light we have out into the world, for all to see, for the glory of our generous God and the building of the kingdom.
This past year, I have seen that light demonstrated joyfully at Christ Church, Ithan: in our worship, our covenant with St. Martin’s Church, Radnor, in exemplary care for our facilities, and in our service to the wider community through our Good Works initiative. This has been a year of growth and change and your remarkable Vestry has led the work in preparing us for future bright with mission and doing the Lord’s work in our community and beyond.
I am overjoyed at the generosity of the people of Christ Church, Ithan because when we bring our light out into the world, we express our gratitude, confidence and willingness to take risks as agents of Jesus remaking the world. In making our light visible, we keep our salt flavorful, as Jesus puts it in these words from The Message:
“Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill.”
Indeed, our work, our prayers and our giving are all about making God’s flavors, colors, and love visible and available to all in our lives. And they are about our willingness to accept the challenge to stretch and grow, into our individual purpose, and into the mission of our church.
As we enter our search for a Rector to be shared with St. Martin’s Church, Radnor, we must remain strong and confident about our future. Many questions remain about where our covenant will lead us, but we have stepped out in faith, trusting that God will show us the way so that our light may continue to shine and we can bring Jesus’ love and the hope it gives us to our broken world.
We will begin our stewardship season on Sunday, October 20, 2019 and will spend four weeks reflecting together about our response to a God who has loved us generously and calls us into a new and exciting future. Every week, our worship bulletin will have a special insert to guide your reflection and prayer. You will hear from vestry members and of course, from our Accounting Warden. On Sunday, November 10, we will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of our beautiful church building together with our friends from St. Martin’s Church, Radnor with whom we share a common history. On Sunday, November 17, we will gather up our commitment cards, reflective of our pledge to support God’s work in and through the mission and ministry of Christ Church, Ithan.
I ask all of you to reflect on the gifts you have received, on the amazing work of this past year as we responded to God’s activity in the life of our church, and to consider how God is calling you to risk “flavoring” the world with your time, talents and treasure. Our future depends on you and your investment in the life of your church. I pray that your hearts will be generous so that our light may continue to shine as we celebrate the many facets of God’s generous and never-ending love for us.
The Rev. John W. Sosnowski
Christ Church, Ithan
Letter from the Wardens
October 31, 2019
During this pledge season, we’ve been reflecting on how we shine our light here at Christ Church, Ithan. We are so happy to be a part of a faith community that shares the light of Jesus’ love with one another and with our world. At Christ Church, Ithan we are always struck by the various ways members of our church keep their light shining brightly. Some of us make sure the snacks at the coffee hour are delicious and abundant. Others participate in our worship either as readers, ushers, or crucifers. Still others prepare our beautiful worship space for weekly Eucharist. Many of us also represent the church in our participation of various community service programs especially in our “Good Works” initiative. And of course, everyone appreciates our caring and talented staff!
In his letter, our rector reminded us that, “our work, our prayers and our giving are all about making God’s flavors, colors, and love visible and available to all in our lives.”
Then Fr. John called us “to accept the challenge to stretch and grow, into our individual purpose, and into the mission of our church.” This past year we have done precisely that! We have taken a step of faith as we entered a Holy Covenant with St. Martin’s Church, Radnor and are now in the process of calling one Rector for both churches. Your vestry believes that this covenant will allow these two churches to grow in mission, to share resources and to be more together than apart. We share a common history and now have a unique opportunity to shape a future of mission and ministry together. While there will be many questions to answer, we believe God will guide our discernment and give success to the work we have begun together. We need your financial commitment to support the good work we have begun and to give generously. Let your gift to the church in 2020 be a sign of your faith in our endeavor and your enthusiasm for continuing God’s work at Christ Church, Ithan.
On Sunday, November 17, during our worship service, all of us will be invited to bring our pledge / commitment cards forward. We have enclosed a pledge card for your use. If you can’t be with us on November 17, kindly return your pledge to the parish office in advance of that date so we can include it in our consecration prayer. As vestry leadership, we have decided to increase our pledge in 2020 to Christ Church, Ithan and believe our support will help our church shine our light more brightly in our community.
We look forward to offering our pledge card during the Offertory. We want our commitment, along with yours, to be blessed just before the Eucharist. For us, it will be a faithful response to all we have received from God and from this parish family.
On behalf of the Vestry, thank you for your commitment to God’s light shining through our generosity and our witness. We are grateful you are part of the Christ Church, Ithan family.
Jacqui North, Rector’s Warden Bruce Wietlisbach, Accounting Warden