The 2019 Annual Giving Campaign


Stewardship Talk #3
Given by Annie Schreiber
28 October 2018

Annie Schreiber (right), her husband Sven, and her children Calvin, Evie, and Sylvia.

Annie Schreiber (right), her husband Sven, and her children Calvin, Evie, and Sylvia.

We are often asked to consider making an investment. Each time we hear the words “will you”, we must decide whether the request is something we think is worth our money, time, or emotional bandwidth. At other times we have no chance to consider our own preferences but rather our investment is required as the price of admission. Both situations can teach us about generosity.

I am a member of St. John’s in part because of a choice that Sven and I made as adults because we felt welcomed and connected to the community. We made a conscious decision that this was the particular group we wanted to invest in. Because of the human relationships and interactions we have as part of St. John’s I have been able to explore my relationship with God as an adult, which has been markedly different than it was when I was a child.

I am a Christian because I was born to parents who happened to attend a Catholic Church. Had I been born to Hindu parents I would have grown up understanding the world from that point of view, instead. One of the ways I have experienced transformation as an adult is by feeling that I am a part of a congregation that strives to be generous towards differences, instead of compliance.

My children are with St. John’s because we made that choice for them, but because of that choice they have been able to witness great acts of generosity that have made a real difference in our lives. When I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 36 I felt overwhelming panic. What we experienced, less than 24 hours after the diagnosis, was a giant hug from our St. John’s community. The number of different ways that each of you reached out to show your care and concern was amazing.

Cancer was a very impactful experience in many ways, but one of the positive outcomes was a deepening of our commitment to being part of this community. God’s love is visible to me here. The members of this congregation help transform that love for me, so that I can see and feel it. For us, this is a community we want to continue to invest in.

As each of us considers investment in St. John’s in the coming year, we will reference our own personal stories and experiences. We will each have personal conversations and reflections that will guide our decision making, but we have a collective community in which to do so. Thank you for sharing this time of consideration with me and my family. Thank you for always being generous with us. We are so blessed to have this community in our lives.