From the Desk of
The Rev. John M. Atkins, Rector
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Oakwood

PATH OF GRATITUDE: Grateful Giving

September 2017

Dear People of St. Paul’s Church:
It is my privilege to serve as rector of St. Paul’s. Upon my arrival, a mere
seven months ago, I shared my gratitude for your gracious welcome. I am
blessed to serve Christ in this community alongside you. Each day my gratitude
grows. Gratitude is vital to my life. Gratitude gives me fresh awareness of God’s
countless blessings and animates my spirit for responding to God’s blessings.
Gratitude brings me closer to God.
For several months now, I’ve been sharing with members of St. Paul’s
leadership a new vision of giving – GRATEFUL GIVING. While finances are
essential to the health and effectiveness of any parish, Grateful Giving includes
money while also acknowledging God’s initiative in blessing us through gifts of
TIME and TALENTS & SKILLS as well as TREAURE. Grateful Giving is
claiming our gifts and responding. Grateful Giving significantly expands
our ability to impact the world and the people around us. Grateful Giving is a
way of living – a life of gratitude.
Our Stewardship Committee is encouraged by this vision and have been
invaluable in working with me in designing a year-round opportunity for parish-
wide Grateful Giving.
While planning this year’s new vision of giving, we have grouped St. Paul’s
parish ministry into four categories, which we are calling Ministry Pillars:
Christian Formation, Mission Outreach, Parish Development, and Worship. We
invite each member of St. Paul’s to CLAIM your blessings, and ask you to
consider your response. Your shared blessings impact people’s lives – both
inside and beyond our walls.
I firmly believe that gratitude for our blessings is central to spiritual well-
being. Your response to God’s blessings of TIME and TALENTS & SKILLS helps
shape, enhance and energize the ministries of St. Paul’s. Your response to God’s
blessings of TREASURE enables us to continue impacting lives for God in
important and meaningful ways. God doesn’t want us to respond out of
obligation. Rather, God desires a grateful heart. How amazing is that!
Thank you for being part of St. Paul’s! We invite you to walk with us
on the Path of Gratitude and be energized by Grateful Giving.