Bishop’s Message – October 2011
October-02-11// by: Bishop Barry B. Clarke
“For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to thee we raise.
This is our hymn of grateful praise.” (Folliott Sandford Pierpoint 1835-1917)
Autumn is one of my most favourite seasons of the year; the magnificent fall colors are breathtaking and the rich harvest of pumpkins, squash, fruits and vegetables speak to me of God’s generosity. My soul is filled with the words of the above hymn and the psalms. It touches my spirit with these words:
“The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
The world, and all those who live in it;
For he has founded it on the seas,
And established it on the rivers.” (Ps 24)
It is a season of Thanksgiving – a time to pause and pursue an attitude of gratitude. St Paul expresses these thoughts when he writes, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. (1Thessalonians 5:16)
Our vocation as followers of Jesus is to exercise faithful stewardship. As disciples of Jesus, this stewardship is reflected in how we show gratitude to God, how we use our gifts of time, talent and monies. In his book titled, “Ask, Thank, Tell” , the author Charles R. Lane, writes: “The goal of our stewardship ministry is to help God’s people grow in their relationship with Jesus through the use of the time, talents and finances God has entrusted to them.”
I am grateful and filled with thanksgiving for God’s people in this diocese, lay and clergy, as we share life together, discerning God’s mission in our generation. Thank you!
I conclude with words from another hymn written by Fred Pratt Green (1903-2000)
“For the harvests of the Spirit, Thanks be to God;
For the good we all inherit, Thanks be to God;
For the wonders that astound us, for the truths that still confound us,
Most of all that love has found us, Thanks be to God.