I watched with fascination a recent show on public television about the great cathedrals of Europe. Without benefit of back hoes, cranes, power saws, diamond blades, or laser guides, craftsmen of the Middle Ages erected these remarkably graceful stone and glass structures, built to the greater glory of God. We look at them today and can only marvel at the tremendous craft and inventiveness directed heavenward.
How did they do it?
Well, among the many ingenious techniques and innovations of these European craftsmen, perhaps none was as important as the discovery of the Gothic arch. This utterly simple, yet revolutionary design of creating openings in stone with a point at the top, rather than the more rounded arch, meant that the tremendous pressure and force of many tons of granite could be directed less outward, and more downward. The better distribution of the load meant these enormous cathedrals could accept the more graceful tall openings in which beautiful glass windows could be placed. These windows told the story of the journey of faith through the images of the life of Christ. While a very human story of loss and disappointment, of fickleness and treachery, it is finally the story of the triumph of love through the greater power of God.
On November 14th we at Christ Church begin our annual every member canvass, building a budget for the coming year. As with those remarkable cathedrals there are similarly many pressures, stresses and strains as we seek to create a graceful structure that honors the God we serve, allowing for the story of the life of faith to be told.
While your leadership does its very best to manage these budgetary forces well, directing with care the resources entrusted into our care, this building is entirely a joint effort. Every stone is important and has a place. Every pledge helps us tell the story of faith and of hope to a world desperately in need of the good news.
When you receive your pledge card on November 14, the Sunday of our Every Member Canvass, I ask take a moment in prayer to you count all your many blessings and return to God an appropriate measure of your gratitude. Your generous gift will help us more ably tell the wondrous story of what God has done in our world, and seeks to accomplish in our community, in our families, and in our own lives.
– Fr. Tompkins