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From the Rector

Jesus said, “In this world  you will have trouble. But  be courageous! I have  overcome the world.”

John 16:33

Beloved in Christ,

This past year may have caught our world by surprise, but it did not catch God by surprise. In fact, Jesus promised his disciples that they would face trying times as they followed him. He said, “In this
world you will have trouble. But be
courageous! I have overcome the world.” Aristotle believed that the virtue of courage consisted of a confidence in the right things. Perhaps that is why Jesus connects courage to the truth that he has
overcome the world—because our ability to be courageous comes from the One who lives within us.

I’ve witnessed a remarkable amount
of courage from our congregation
recently, particularly where stewardship is concerned. From our capital campaign, to the parish hall renovation, to your continued faithfulness throughout this pandemic, all of that has required a real confidence in God while you supported the mission of St. David’s.

To borrow from the Prayer Book, the
Church’s life is temporarily changed, not ended. Whether you are worshipping in-person or online with us each week, we continue to actively fulfill our mission in new and exciting ways. We discuss that a
bit more on the following page. But for us to continue that work, we rely on your support. I recognize that this pandemic makes your generosity all the more courageous—a true act of transformative discipleship as we place our confidence in the right things. I invite you to prayerfully join Cyndi and me as we raise our pledge to St. David’s in 2021, and courageously join in the work God continues to accomplish in and through our parish family.


Faithfully,

The Rev. Paul A. Nesta

Changed, Not Ended:
The Church’s Mission in Pandemic Times

St. David’s exists to experience and share God’s
reconciling work in Christ, through ancient worship,
transformative discipleship, and embodied witness.
The coronavirus pandemic may have changed the
ways we are accomplishing our mission, but it has not
stopped us from being a church for Denton. Here is
just a glimpse of how we are fulfilling our mission in
this time.


Ancient Worship 

Each Sunday in 2020, the holy sacrifice of the Mass has continued to be offered to the glory of God, and in union with every member of St. David’s—regardless of where they may be. In addition to our weekly live stream, we have offered virtual services of Morning and Evening Prayer, Stations of the Cross, and observed feast days like the Annunciation and the Ascension.


Beginning at the end of May, we resumed in-person
worship with our Mass on the Grass, and as part of our fall
kick-off we have opened the sanctuary for our 5 pm
Eucharist. Throughout the month of October, we are
adding an outdoor Family Mass at 10:30 am, and also
have a couple of parish-wide events planned for the fall.


Transformative Discipleship

At the beginning of the year, we named discipleship our mission focus for 2020. We offered formation opportunities in the first half of the year that explored Christian witness in the world, along with a series on the book of 1 Peter. 

The Thy Kingdom Come initiative drove us into prayer  for those we know who do not know Jesus, and our  Midweek Bible Study gave parishioners a place to  fellowship, pray, and engage the Scriptures over Zoom.  Our Theology with a Twist series welcomed scholars  from across North America to talk about a Christian  understanding of lament.  

Throughout the month of July, our families discovered  how Jesus’ power can help pull them through in our  virtual Rocky Railway VBS, which also included an in person pick up with outdoor activities for children.  

 

This fall we launched a small group ministry at St.  David’s that is currently made up of 50 parishioners,  and our youth group has also resumed in-person  gatherings.

 

Embodied Witness

St. David’s Snack Packs is a  ministry providing food to the homeless on Sundays,  when other organizations are closed, that currently  feeds approximately 70 people each week, and has  surpassed 13,000 meals since its inception in 2015.  

This year, St. David’s Outreach Committee provided  $5,000 in support to local organizations such as Our  Daily Bread, St. David’s Snack Packs, Gateway of  Grace, the Rainbow Room, First Refuge, & Fellowship  of Christian Athletes. Additionally, they sponsored the  education of a nurse in Uganda through the Kellerman  Foundation.  

In lieu of traveling to Oklahoma City, the Youth of St.  David’s embarked on a series of socially distant  service projects for a Mission in Place.  

Courageous Commitments 

 

As part of our Courageous Generosity initiative, we are asking everyone at St. David’s  to prayerfully consider taking one of three transformative generosity steps in 2021: 

1. Make a First Time, 12-Month Commitment 

 

Some of you have started attending St. David’s in the past year; others were not ready  to make a commitment for 2020. We want to invite you to make a commitment to give  in a way that draws you closer to Jesus and exemplifies the virtue of courage.  

2. Commit To Press On 

Others of you have pledged your support to St. David’s in the past, and it has not been  an easy commitment to keep in this pandemic. We want to encourage your  courageous generosity in the coming year, knowing that we serve a faithful God who  has promised to supply our every need according to his riches in glory.  

 

3. Increase Your Pledge 

Perhaps you feel the Lord increasing your faith and your ability to trust him even more  with your finances, or maybe your financial situation has improved. We want to  challenge you to courageously step out and increase your pledge in the coming year. 

 

In order to help us budget for 2021, we ask that all Commitment Cards be returned by All Saints Sunday, November 1st.

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