The place for the true follower of Christ is in the world, not in the church. The church is a place to return for strength, for consolation, for inspiration … but all in order to equip us for service in the world.
At St. Stephen’s we find many opportunities for such service. Inn From the Cold provides shelter and comfort for those who otherwise would be on the streets. All Roads Lead Home supports people settling into affordable homes of their own. Through our monthly “Pink Envelopes” we support a variety of other outreach programs such as the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, Feed The Hungry, and the Rector’s Discretionary Fund.
But beyond all the outreach opportunities available through the church, there are countless ways to serve the world through our support of international NGO’s (non-government organizations), local charities, cultural groups, and service organizations. In fact, there are so many ways to serve, so many good and worthy causes, we sometimes find ourselves having to consolidate our charitable donations into a few chosen favourites.
The point is, the church may be where we are inspired to give, but it is not the only place to which we give. So follow your heart. What are the causes that speak to you, that engage your interest, that move you to action? Include the church among these, because this is where it all starts. But somewhere out there is a cause with your name on it, awaiting your considered and generous response.