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Christ Church Eureka

P. O. Box 861

Eureka, CA 95502

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The Arboreal Wisdom of the Prophet Amos

“Let justice flow like an ever-rolling stream” Amos 5:24

Dear Parish Family,

Our stewardship theme this year is inspired by our vision statement and the opening words of the Common Doxology: “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.” One way that we fulfill our vision of walking together in the way of Christ’s love for all is by following the flow of God’s blessings. And one way that we can follow the flow of God’s blessings is by simply practicing gratitude. Our Holy Scriptures are replete with invitations to practice gratitude and that is what stewardship season is all about.

            Our stewardship team begins each meeting by sharing blessings for which we are feeling especially grateful. In the face of COVID, destructive wildfires, and divisive politics, this simple act of counting our blessings effectively shifts my outlook and infuses me with hope. Now that the delta variant has thrown a wrench into many of our regathering plans, I feel especially hungry for that hope and thus called to deepen my discipline of gratitude and flex those spiritual muscles on a more regular basis.

            It can be so easy for us to focus on all the negative, discouraging, and overwhelming “stuff” in our lives. And whenever I do, I can often grow upset, impatient, and sad. However, when I remember to focus on all the dazzling blessings that shimmer all around me, I so quickly grow full of joy and awe and wonder. Sometimes my practice of gratitude begins by taking a breath and giving thanks to God for a healthy body that can successfully inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, a gift that none of us should ever take for granted, especially when we consider the 700,000 who have died from a virus that seriously damages one’s lungs. After appreciating the gift of breath, I gaze at the redwood tree in my side yard, which absorbs the carbon dioxide I release and provides me with fresh oxygen in a relationship of mutuality and interdependence. As I continue to gaze with gratitude, the redwood tree seems to show off its branches as they dance in the sunlight and make gentle music in the wind. And then I get the sense that the tree itself is giving thanks and praise to its Creator along with me as I start to count the 10,000 little things that seem to go right every day.  

            I like to imagine that this same arboreal wisdom informed and inspired the Hebrew prophet Amos, who was a dresser of sycamore trees. I like to imagine that he knew God’s message to God’s people precisely because he spent so much time listening to the trees and receiving their ancient wisdom. I like to imagine God’s Spirit speaking through the fig trees to Amos and showing him that mistreatment of the poor indicates corruption and crookedness of heart just as a plumb line indicates the crookedness of a wall (Amos 7:7-15). And finally, I like to imagine that the streams of wind that flowed through the sycamore trees inspired Amos’s poetic call for justice: “Let justice flow like an ever-rolling stream” (5:24). The words of Amos, which have appeared frequently in our lectionary the last few months, invite us to express our gratitude by giving generously back to the God who gave us every gift that we now enjoy, including our very breath. And Amos specifically calls us to give generously to those in need so that God’s justice may flow.

            Christ Church Eureka has been following the flow of God’s blessings and heeding the prophetic words of Amos by increasing our giving to non-profit organizations that help those in need: Food for People, The Betty Kwan Chinn Homeless Foundation, The Forgotten Initiative, Sandy in Honduras, Humboldt Domestic Violence Services, Bishop’s Fire-Relief Fund, and more. During these challenging times when it is tempting to turn inward and focus solely on maintenance, we are looking outward and upholding our mission to serve all people through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I invite you to join us in following the flow of God’s blessing and justice by prayerfully reflecting on the ways you are being called to express your gratitude this year. I invite you to prayerfully consider the following three questions:

  • How am I being called to give generously to the church through my time, talent, and treasure?
  • What percentage of my income am I being called by God to give to Christ Church?
  • Am I being called to give more this year than I did last year?

After prayerfully considering these questions, please fill out your pledge card and bring it to church on or before Sunday November 7, 2021, when we celebrate the Feast of All Hallows and gather with the prophet Amos and all the saints to praise our God from whom all blessings flow.

With Gratitude and Love,

Fr. Daniel +

Download pledge card here

Past Stewardship Campaigns

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