Supporting St. Paul's

My name is Brett Foster and I am grateful to have the opportunity to speak this morning about why generous giving to St. Paul’s is important to me.
Ouida, Ripley and I have been a parishioners at St. Paul’s since we moved to Boston 4 years ago. We fell in love with St Paul’s on our first visit and knew it was where God meant us to be.

However, finding our physical home was a bigger challenge. Our wish list included: a strong school system, diversity, access to great healthcare, and meaningful options within walking distance… and I wanted a short commute to work.

Boston is famous for many things, but affordable living is not one of them. Once we narrowed the list of neighborhoods down… the price tag was sobering. The infrastructure taxes and cost of living premiums really add up.

But I feel confident our family puts these expenses to work through active engagement with what the community has offer… The schools, the parks, the short walks to everything, the medical access, theaters, sporting events, after school rec activities… and this church.

But tax dollars don’t benefit God’s work or St. Paul’s. Cost-of-living premiums don’t keep these walls standing or the organ playing year after year. They don’t pay staff and clergy, or create a space of Christian formation and fellowship.

For me, St. Paul’s is where I recharge to face the world. It’s where I am reminded and challenged to do God’s work. To better understand the events of this world through a lens of compassion and to both give and receive support.

Here’s my point about giving. I ask myself: is St. Paul’s worth the cost I pay for a cell phone each month? For Netflix? For garbage pick-up? For Spotify? For the MFA and science museum memberships? Is St. Paul’s as important to me as the parks I use and pay for? Or clean water and safe streets? Is it worth the cost of my short drive to work? For me, God’s work and the betterment I receive from St. Paul’s is not just worth these things, but it is worth their value by a factor of 2... or 3 or even 4.

Giving proportionally to income got our family started in the pledging journey, but this year we are going to approach the topic of how much to pledge from the perspective of a factor of our spending on other activities. How many times more is this community worth than the other things we consider important?

God's love is always abundant and freely available to all. But God’s work here on-earth is not free… it relies on all of us. Our family is grateful to be here and grateful to give to St. Paul’s.

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