Rev. Yme Woensdregt

Henri Nouwen has written a wonderful little booklet called A Spirituality of Fundraising, is filled with wonderful insights about the importance and visionary nature of stewardship.

Early in the book, he writes, “Fundraising is proclaiming what we believe in such a way that we offer other people an opportunity to participate with us in our vision and mission. Fundraising is precisely the opposite of begging. When we seek to raise funds, we are not saying, ‘Please could you help us out because lately it’s been hard.’ Rather, we are declaring, ‘We have a wonderful vision that is amazing and exciting. We are inviting you to invest yourself through the resources that God has given you—your energy, your prayers, and your money—in this work to which God has called us.”

The Steering Committee for Together in Mission is refining our vision. We want to craft a vision for new leadership in the Diocese, and then articulate as clearly as we can and invite our whole Diocesan family to hold this vision as our own.

I think we are capable of doing that. We will need help, and so I am pleased to announce that Diocesan Council recently agreed to enter into a covenant with M&M International to be our consultants. Martha Asselin will be our Campaign Director, and Murray McCarthy will be the Campaign Advisor.

Many of us have already met Martha, who conducted the Feasibility Study last April. Everyone I have talked to remarked on Martha’s warmth and friendliness. She is able to draw people into the shared vision of a campaign such as this.

The formal contract with M&M begins May 1, but we are already laying the groundwork for a very important gathering of the clergy in our Diocese May 8–9. Archbishop John has called us to gather so that we might begin to build a strong sense of support and enthusiasm for this very important campaign.

In the words of a prayer I used at one of the meetings of the Steering Committee, “God of new life, kindle a vision of your gospel purposes for this diocese in your church. Ignite a passion to live abundantly in these parishes in your church. Stir us to be bold witnesses of all you are doing in the world, and empower us to live faithfully, daringly, and hopefully; we pray in Jesus’ name.”

Please continue to hold this campaign and the Steering Committee in your prayers.