My favorite definition of stewardship is “All we do with all we have, all the time,” thus making stewardship a year-round enterprise.
Most of our congregations have completed their annual pledge campaign, and are preparing for the Christmas holidays. I invite you to include the Alleluia Fund for Outreach in your holiday giving; and to consider your contribution as another part of year-round stewardship.
The Alleluia Fund for Outreach provides an opportunity for people across the diocese to contribute to various outreach ministries. So far in 2013, $68,000 has been contributed by 130 households and 16 congregations or other groups. This amount, plus additional donations received by December 31, will be disbursed to 35 diocesan-related agencies that are committed to doing God’s work in the world.
In the four years since the launch of the Alleluia Fund, the diocese has developed important relationships with the various ministries which seek our support. The collective generosity has had a positive impact on the Alleluia Fund’s mission to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, comfort the elderly and care for at-risk children.
The need is growing: requests for Alleluia Fund support have more than doubled in just the past two years, from $137,000 in 2011 to $298,000 this year. My hope – and prayer, is that our response will grow as well.
As the diocese continues to grow in its mission – and discerns what it means to be missional, more and more individuals and congregations are discovering what God is up to in the world. Our participation in the Alleluia Fund can connect us to God’s work through a wide variety of ministries – and can bring hope and blessing to people who are eager to receive it.
Thank you for your support.
Mark. M. Beckwith
Bishop of Newark