Dear St. Andrew’s Family,
Most of us will be familiar with the words of Jesus quoted by Paul and recorded by Luke in the Book of Acts (20.35), “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” And, I would guess a good many of us hear those words and immediately assume we are the givers. Until the unexpected happens.
St. Andrew’s has for years made generous giving a priority. Giving reflects a transformed heart whose treasure is Christ and whose aim is to imitate our Lord who gave Himself completely.
To be clear, Christ remains our treasure and we do still aim to imitate Him in all things. However, in His Providence, God has determined that what we need to learn in this season in our life together can only be learned through receiving. And, in His Providence, God has raised up givers.
It can be hard, though, to receive, can’t it?
One of the many many quiet stories unfolding in our life since the fire is the generosity of folks outside of St. Andrew’s who have been moved to bless us through their generosity. A few examples:
- Christ our King Roman Catholic Church (on Coleman Blvd) tithed a Sunday offering and sent us a generous check.
- The Falls Church in Falls Church, Virginia, sent a generous check.
- A local men’s ministry at another church sent a check with a note telling us that they’d not have a men’s ministry if the men at St. Andrew’s had not taken them under our wing and discipled them.
- A Roman Catholic priest sent a personal check for $1000.
- The North Charleston Creative Arts Elementary School and their PTO organized a fundraiser with the proceeds given to us.
- SAMS-USA, a missionary agency we’ve worked with over the years, sent us a donation and a note of appreciation and encouragement.
- One North Carolina couple and one Virginia couple (unrelated) who have worshipped with us over the years each sent personal checks for $1000.
- And then today I received word that St. Thomas Parish in Monrovia, Liberia (our mission partner for our school in Liberia) has been collecting offerings from among their members to send to us, their sister parish, in our time of need.
It is humbling. And quite honestly, overwhelming to be on the receiving end of such kindness and generosity. And the truth of the matter is that these are but a few stories of any number of people and churches, both locally and now internationally, expressing their love and gratitude for the life and ministry of our parish – expressing their love and gratitude for you.
I hope you are heartened by these stories. It can often come easy for us to wonder what difference we make individually or corporately. And then the Lord allows circumstances to take place in our lives that adjust our perspective. This is one of those times for us.
Seeing the response of the community and equally, to see the response of so very many of you (in prayer, in service, in ministry, in giving, in outreach) has been a joy to behold. Jesus is alive and His Spirit is moving in our church. And the fruit? A palpable renewed spirit of love toward one another. And for that, we say, “thanks be to God.”
With much love in Christ,
Steve & Jacqui