Dear Truro Family,
What must it have been like to be there?! When God poured out His Spirit on followers? When people from all over the known world heard the Gospel spoken in their own language? When the not-very-educated disciples suddenly spoke and taught with clarity and power? And with an exuberance that made people think they were drunk at 9 o’clock in the morning?! Three thousand people were baptized that day, made alive by God’s Spirit. And we’re told, “The Lord added to their number day by day,” as the apostles continued Jesus’ ministry of teaching and healing.
Last week we celebrated Pentecost, remembering the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit, 50 days after the first Easter. Our worship was filled with joy, and we heard the Scriptures and prayers in a variety of languages. After the service people poured out onto the lawn to eat and talk together (and for some, to tumble down waterslides). It was wonderful to see people of all ages cooking, eating, talking, playing – an appropriate celebration of God’s good gift to us.
Isn’t it interesting that one of the very first reports of that early church describes their generosity? Luke tells us “They were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.” (Acts 2:45) As they experienced God’s power and blessing, they loosened their grip on their possessions and money, easily sharing with one another. People were open with one another about their needs.
Churches were also open about their needs. Some years later, Paul let the congregations he founded know about the needs of the church in Jerusalem. The churches responded, collecting money for Paul to send to Jerusalem. Paul’s letters make it clear he was grateful for the financial support he himself received.
This pattern of generosity and openness about need is one of the reasons I feel compelled to update you on Truro’s financial needs. In the last few months, Truro has experienced a significant downturn in giving. The vestry has worked hard to develop budgets that enable us to live within our means, cutting them significantly in the last 2 years. For instance, our staff is half the size it was in 2019. This has been a good process, challenging us to be better stewards of what God has given us.
The priorities we pursue – exuberant worship, intimate connections with God and one another, and loving our neighborhood and the nations – remain God’s call on Truro. Will you please give to solidify and strengthen our mission, especially during these summer months (when church giving often declines)? Will you ask the Lord about whether to do a mid-year upgrade of your giving? Whether you put checks or money in the offering plate, mail in checks, or give online, we really do need you to give.
We can’t thank you enough for what so many of you are already doing to support God’s work here, through your prayers, your finances, and your service. It is an honor and a joy to serve in your midst, and I know that your new rector will be similarly blessed.