The 2019 Annual Giving Campaign


Stewardship Talk #2
Given by Harry Shook
21 October 2018

Harry Shook (right) and his sister Frances after their Confirmation at St. John’s on Sunday, October 7th, 2018.

Harry Shook (right) and his sister Frances after their Confirmation at St. John’s on Sunday, October 7th, 2018.

Hi, I’m Harry Shook and I’m a senior at West Lafayette High School.

When Bradley first asked to me to speak regarding Stewardship, I honestly had no idea what I was going to say or what I was going to share. So I sat down with my parents and just talked about St. John's. During this conversation my dad asked me a question. He said, “If someone asked you to donate to St. Johns would you?” Right off the bat I said, “well of course.” He asked “why”. It was when I thought about the “why” to this questions that made me realize I already knew exactly what I wanted and needed share.

I’ve been a part of the St. John’s Community since I was baptized right out there in the courtyard by Father Ed. I have grown up eagerly waiting for donut hour, standing on the pews so I was able to read the gospel book that my mom was holding, playing in the sandbox during godly play, racing my sisters to go grab a goody bag before service started. Ass I got older, the memories became playing huge games of sardines on Sunday nights with the youth group and having deep conversations, not only about faith but about life in general, at Starbucks on Wednesday nights with my confirmation class.

What makes all of these memories so special and so memorable is that I share them with people that I would have likely never met if it weren’t for St. John’s. They are fellow students that attend different schools than me that I have met and become close friends with, adults that I have met at coffee hour, even some who remember when I was born who have been able to see me grow up. The community that St. Johns creates is unmatched. You won’t be able to find anything like it anywhere else, where people genuinely care so much about the well-being of others. For example, just recently someone came up to me as I was stuffing my mouth with donuts and congratulated me on my running achievements. This was someone I recognized but had never spoken to and I didn’t even know their name. And yet they still went out of their way to congratulate me. It is the little comments like these, that make you feel so you feel so special and cared about.

Beyond the community here at St. John's, Sunday mornings have always been a time that has drawn my own family together, throughout a hectic week it’s hard, for all of us to spend quality time together. So at 10:15 on Sunday morning, the 5 us come together, and are able to relax and put everything else in our lives on pause. Sitting together during the service and getting lunch afterwards are some of the best memories I have because there so simple, yet in a way stand out among everything else. St. John’s has this ability to bring people together in a meaningful and effective way that I haven’t found anywhere else.

This brings me back to that question that my dad asked me, and my answer is simple, well of course I would, because I know it will go to the betterment of this community and this congregation, and I have realized that I will never be able to give enough in comparison to what St. John’s as given me.

So as I still discover and try to figure out my faith, I know that there are people, there is a community that will always be there to help and support me along the way.