WEEKLY REFLECTION | Proper 20A – September 24, 2023

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Fall is such a busy time for all of us! School for parents, teachers and people involved in education. Getting houses and yards ready for the winter. Even the squirrels are busy, running back and forth with chubby cheeks full of nuts, so they don’t have to climb out of their warm burrows on chilly days.

And it’s busy for the church—especially for places like St. Margaret’s, who have a tradition of community-based activities in the fall. St. Margaret’s Day, for instance, when we celebrate our patron. The October 21 Hallowe’en Parade, when we offer hospitality to parade organizers, float teams, and passersby. Celebration Sunday—this last Sunday—when we rejoice in our parish, its people and invite folks to celebrate with us, like the wonderful contractors who just completed our sidewalk and steps. Collecting for the Angel Network and for Sharing Tree, as well as the monthly food bank donations and service at Legend of Allentown.

All good stuff and an outgrowth of our faith and worship, which teaches us to reach out to the world around us.

But we are IN the world, even though we aren’t OF the world. And that means that part of the busyness of fall is raising the money that will allow us to pay our bills for the year. Happily, we don’t need to worry about going hungry without our supply of squirrel-found nuts, but we do need to pay for heat over the winter, and lights, electricity, office supplies, maintenance and staff year round.

So fall is also the time when we do our fundraising. Right now, we have a program going on with Boscov’s that will allow us to sell $5.00 coupons that will give the purchaser a 25% discount on their total purchase at any Boscov’s on October 18. All the money from the coupons comes back to St. Margaret’s. We are also working hard on the November 3-4 Basket Social, which is our major fundraiser of the year. Our goal is to have 100 baskets for people to choose from. So far, parishioners have created about 60. There is lots more information about the Social, including imaginative ideas for baskets at our special webpage https://stmargaretsemmaus.org/basket-social/. If you’d like to contribute, but don’t feel like making a basket, you can certainly donate some money and we’ll make the basket for you.

Another way to help is by sharing news about our events with family, friends and neighbors. If you are on Facebook or other social media, share posts about what’s coming up. Or go share St. Margaret’s Fundraising page https://stmargaretsemmaus.org/fundraising/. BEST OF ALL, invite people to come.

I’m an introvert, so I always shudder when people quote to me Jesus’ commandment to go out and carry the Good News throughout the world. I’m just not the kind of person who feels comfortable preaching on street corners or asking strangers if I can talk with them about God. I’m much happier with the idea of showing them by my life what it’s all about. I often hear people say they feel the same way. Think about this: ALL the efforts of any kind in the church (fundraising, worship, coffee hour, buildings and grounds, and committee work, etc. etc.) require volunteers—people committed to the mission and well-being of the parish. Fundraising especially brings us into contact with people from outside the church. It’s a fun and non-threatening way (for those of us who are shy, in particular) to welcome people and show them how we live our faith. I always look forward just to greeting folks and having brief chats. It’s amazing what some of those short conversations turn into later on. There will be volunteer sign-up sheets in church on Sunday and coming to you in future mailings.

Mo. Laura+