Saturday, July 24, 2010

“Where is Christ calling our heart?” – Stewardship of the Pope Bequest.

Dear friends,

The Pope Bequest gives us an opportunity to do as a congregation what we all did as individuals in last year’s stewardship program and will again this year – look at the role of wealth in our lives and how our stewardship of it can bring us closer to God, Christ, each other and the world.

That process requires prayer and care. Here’s what’s happening so far.

*A “Short Term Committee” made up of Jim McGregor, Walt Johnson, Don Allen and Dave Lawson is currently consulting with other financial experts and the diocesan chancellor to come up with a plan for “parking” the bequest for the short-term (six – to – nine months) with the best combination of complete security, rate of return and socially responsible investing practices. They are hopeful to have recommendations for Chapter before the August meeting.

*I am in the process of forming a “Prayer, Listening and Study Team” that will eventually make recommendations to Chapter on the long-term stewardship of the bequest.

Last week, Chapter responded to my request to identify the "qualities, skills and constituencies" that need to be represented on this team. The list below represents their response. They are currently in a process of identifying people who fit this description and submitting their names to me with a rationale for each based on the list. If you have a suggestion that fits list list, please give it to a Chapter member. You can find the list of Chapter members here.

I will then take those names away with me during my vacation (July 26 - August 11) for thought and prayer and will assemble the team when I return.

I hope that by the annual meeting the Chapter will be able to present a vision for this bequest to the congregation. However, while it is important this process not drag on unnecessarily, neither can it be rushed. I and the whole Chapter are committed to everyone in the Cathedral congregation having a voice in this process as well as members of the diocesan family and others who are potentially affected by this gift.

As always, if you have any questions, please contact me at But please realize that I will not be answering email while on vacation.

Finally, remember to keep doing what I asked in my original letter:

Pray. Pray in thanksgiving. Pray to learn where Christ would have our heart be. Pray that we will use this gift for the glory of God. Pray for wisdom and courage for me, the Chapter and all who will have special responsibility in discerning where Christ would have our heart be and how to be excellent stewards of this gift.

Trust. Use the grace of this gift to strengthen our belief in God’s abundance in a world that tries to convince us of scarcity, as encouragement to step out in faith.

Rejoice. This is wonderful news, and we have the joy of using it for God to do even more wonderful things. Sing a song of praise to God. Rejoice. Rejoice. Rejoice.

warmly, your friend,

Qualities (these are things that we hope everyone on the team will exhibit):
*is active in and committed to the church (including pledging ... with the exception of youth members, who have not been asked to pledge ... something we need to think about for the future!)
*Good listener
*Creative thinker
*Values the church's history, understands our present and is open to a new vision for the future
*A person of integrity, will not manipulate or be manipulated
*Centered and prayerful. Willing and able to engage this as a spiritual process
*A non-polarizing person who engenders respect from a broad spectrum of people
*Able to understand and balance the three-fold role of the Cathedral as Sunday community, mother church of the diocese and cathedral for downtown St. Louis.
*Dependable (this is a major time commitment and we need people we can count on)
*Able to put personal agendas aside, start with a blank sheet of paper.

Skills (these are things that need to be represented somewhere on the team, but not by every member)
*experience in finance
*excellent communication skills
*someone who doesn't have a financial background who can raise questions that perhaps otherwise wouldn't be raised.
*someone with a firm understanding of/investment in the "maintenance" needs of the Cathedral
*someone with a firm commitment to the Cathedral as a missionary body.

Constituencies (these are groups that need to be represented on the team as a whole)
*someone representing families and children (possibly someone under 18)
*someone from each of the three services and the choir
*representation that reflects our diversity

Because we are the Cathedral for the whole diocese, we do not need to limit membership to just Cathedral attenders. Also consider that some people might be good "consultants" to this group - people brought in because of specific expertise.

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