St. Margaret's Weekly Reflection

WEEKLY REFLECTION | October 29, 2023 – Proper 25A

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 

Last Sunday, we began our annual stewardship program. Some people dislike stewardship season, and in one church I served, some of them refused to come to worship during all the weeks of stewardship. I never quite understood that. And sometimes wondered if they would go for months at a time not looking at their mail, because they didn’t want to think about money. Who knows?

At St. Margaret’s, it seems rather different to me. The four or five times we have brief sharings from our parishioners are wonderful. I really like hearing how other people think about stewardship—sometimes quite differently than I do. And most of all, I like looking through the window they open for us into their lives of faith.

We had the joy of hearing from Connie Allport to start us down the road. In some ways, the reflections people offer us are also a kind of stewardship—giving of themselves to us and to God. And here are here words.


Mo. Laura+




My Dear St. Margaret’s,

It has been almost 7 1/2 years since my first Sunday here at St. Margaret’s. I do remember it very well. George had visited the Sunday before. “I believe, you will like this little church.”

So for me, it was not the sermon, or the music that are the memory jewels. No, it was the people!

As I look around the nave this morning, most of the standout stars of that Sunday, are here this morning. You are now the faces, along with many others, that I look forward to seeing and greeting each Sunday or on the days in between.

A few weeks before, George and I had visited Mediator in Allentown. Mother Maria was so welcoming. This was a wonderful visit. Mother Maria and I exchanged emails, notes, and phone calls.  She noted that our return address, was in Emmaus, and that we lived really close to St. Margaret’s. She graciously suggested we visit St. Margaret’s.

With that…George and I are here, and as they say in the Army, “we are here for the duration!” Most of you are seasoned St. Margaret’s people with many years of sitting in these pews.

Before moving to the Lehigh Valley, we were an active duty Army family for almost 30 years. When George transitioned from the active-duty Army to civilian life, we spent 25+ years in Central Pennsylvania. After moving and belonging to so many episcopal churches, it is with the most loving sentiment, that we call St. Margaret’s “our church home!!!” You are a gift. It is a privilege, to be counted among you.

I know all of you by name because we have shared ministry, and in those times shared stories of our families and lives. You have broken bread at our long table or on the patio. You graciously celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary with us right here! I treasure your stories of family, children, grandchildren and their tireless energy, your “fatigue” after a full day of play, and your pride as you tell me about them as they grow.

I have seen the care and prayers you give when one of us is ill or has lost a loved one.

We are not big, but the quality of mercy, comfort, and caring for one another is on a “grand scale.” These are authentic relationships.

What do I see and feel? I see a community of practicing Christians whose faith identity, regular participation, and commitment are the face and heart of St. Margaret.

I feel that I have been on a journey with you, that has brought us to a community that is bonded in the knowledge that “God’s grace and presence are here in this place.”

I see humility, fellowship, hospitality, true relationships, hubs of activity, generosity, gratitude, welcome, and leadership willing to adapt and not give up. After 6 years on vestry, I see leaders you can trust because they are willing to serve in your best interests and for whatever God is calling us to do. We need a strategic plan and focus on a hope for “growing” St. Margaret. The vestry and Mother Laura are on it!

You are resilient, hardworking…you give until you are tired, but then back up for a fresh start. We accept that we are getting older, but are attempting to see what we realistically can handle and do. May I say, “we are not done yet, and God continues to call our name.”

Continue sharing your time, talent, energy, and covenants of financial tithing. The church is “The People.” But the faith community relationships are built in this “House,” Our faith community relationships happen here where we gather for prayer, scripture, worship, and fellowship. There is goodness and sacredness in caring for “God’s House.”

I see the “Body of Christ” working in you. Each one of us as St. Margaret’s…WE have a story of God’s grace to share in the community, in the world… where we have been planted.

Connie Allport