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  • Wade Paton

Year End Greeting



Dear Stony Plain Alliance Church Family,


There is something we do together as church every Sunday that I have never experienced in any other gathering in my life. And as someone who has been regularly in church since I was just a few days old, I’ve seen a lot of church over the last 48 years. Every church I’ve been part of has always had congregational singing, prayers, scripture reading, preaching, and communion. There is the occasional testimony and baptism. The weekly announcements are always a highlight at the end of every service because it usually means that lunch is not far away. All these elements are the common practice of the churches I have called my spiritual homes.


So, what is the unique thing we do every week here at Stony Plain Alliance? We pray a Giving Liturgy. I’ve never done that anywhere but here. Every week as part of our gathering we responsively recite a prayer that reminds us of God’s generosity to us and how it is our privilege to likewise be generous with our lives. We intentionally align our hearts again with the way of abundance that Jesus proclaims and demonstrates. For those that have prayed it a lot, perhaps you’ve noticed that the liturgy has a Trinitarian structure. We are participating with Father, Son, and Spirit in this great adventure of what it means to live with open hearts, and I have personally witnessed this prayer being in answered in so many of our lives.


There is no doubt that these are difficult times financially for so many. The cost of living continues to rise while wages stay stagnant and the thought of another rise in interest rates makes some of us break into a cold sweat. We all feel the pressure in our lives, and we feel it as a church. It is for seasons exactly like this one when our Liturgy must continue to be prayed as an act of resistance against the powers of greed and scarcity. Regardless of the amount, every time we choose generosity, we are embodying the spirit behind our collective prayer and ensuring that faith, not fear, makes the decision when it comes to giving. This way of faith is something I am witnessing in this community right now and it fills my heart with so much gratitude.


On behalf of the staff and elders, thank-you. Thank-you for all the ways you are supporting this church and ensuring that we can continue to call one another toward fullness of life for everyone by practicing the way of Jesus


together. Your contributions count as evidence of what it looks like when the kingdom of God is bubbling up in a community. Thank-you for praying the Giving Liturgy with us each week and allowing the prayer to become more than words we recite. This good work of generosity that God has begun in us, he will bring to completion for his glory and the blessing of people here in Parkland County and around the world.


Below is our Giving Liturgy and I would ask that you do something with me. Would you pause right now and pray it again with me? Take a moment to quiet your heart and let’s pray together as we look back on the year that is ending and anticipate the year that is about to begin. Over this season of Advent, we are praying a new Giving Liturgy each week but come January we will return to these words that we have prayed hundreds of times together. Let’s pray and, by faith, trust that God is answering this prayer every day in us.

Father in heaven, you are generous. There is nothing we have that you have not given us.


We are dependent on you, all we have is yours.


Our world is corrupted by greed and scarcity, on grasping for more and fearing that there won’t be enough. Jesus your kingdom is not this way. Instead it is built on abundance.


Help us to resist greed and scarcity by living in this abundance with open and generous hearts and hands.


Spirit you freely give of your gifts, empower us to do the same.


Help us to be trustworthy with little so that we can be trusted with much. Help us to invest in treasure that will not decay but will shine in the age to come.


Amen.


Peace,

Wade



If you’d like to contribute financially to the ministry of Stony Plain Alliance Church please go to our Giving page and hit the Give Now button. All gifts over $10 received before midnight on December 31, will receive a charitable tax receipt for this year.




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