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On generosity

Generosity can mean different things.  It may be giving of your income, as part of your offering.  It can be giving of your time.  It can be sharing of your faith in the form of prayers, belief from others when I may not have it at times for myself.

All of you, the congregation and friends of St. Philip’s inspire me to be more generous:

1)    With my offerings, because of the important work that I know is done with the monies
2)    With my time because of how many of you do a large multiple of things for this church

Particularly, it’s what people offer up in terms of their time, because I personally see the benefit as do others, whether it’s flowers arranged beautifully at the altar, yummy treats at the Good News café, a fun event that you have taken the trouble to organize for our youth, or an inspiring musical piece that the bell choir rehearses and plays to the awe of all of us gathered here in this sanctuary.

That’s what St. Philip’s means to me and is just one of the reasons I so value this church in my life and I give to its sustainment.

The Bible tells about generosity many times.  The best I know is in Paul and Timothy’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians.  He’s talking about the Corinthian church giving faithfully to help a community of people whom they have never met.  Out of that comes probably the best words on generosity in the bible. “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Generous people give to others, even when they differ from one another.  We see it in Luke 7:1-10, as a Gentile builds a Jewish synagogue! That’s the story of the centaurion who implored to have Christ heal his sick servant.  Who could have predicted such a donor for such a cause?

One of the things I value about St. Philip’s is the fact that we have adopted a vision statement that implicitly supports this. We practice hospitality of open hearts and open arms.  We unite with partners to make a difference in our neighbourhood.

So thank you.  Thank you for your generosity

And let’s remember this:

No one can help everyone with everything, but each of us can help someone, somehow.  Every bit is important and valued.

Eric Fergin

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