All things come of Thee, O Lord; and of Thine own have we given Thee.
Mike and Alisa Skatrud came to St. Paul’s and their commitment to stewardship by different paths, but ended up in much the same place.
As Mike puts it, “Alisa was a cradle Episcopalian who has never left the church; I was raised Roman Catholic, and got away from it in college.”
The two met in Philadelphia and Mike found himself attending Alisa’s church with her parents. Gradually, he began finding his faith again, but in a different way. “The idea of a personal relationship with God was not part of my past,” says Mike, “but it means a great deal to me now.”
When the couple first arrived in the Boston area, they went “church shopping,” they were attracted to St. Paul’s right away. There are times when friends and neighbors wonder why they travel to Natick to attend church when they live in Needham. “The difference is in the people,” they say, and cite the strong sense of fellowship they feel at St. Paul’s.
Alisa adds, “Community is what it means to me. St. Paul’s is a place where I can grow and raise our children, a place where they can see God reflected in the relationships among people.”
Mike and Alisa see their giving to St. Paul’s as a recognition of what has been given to them by God. Both have been involved with stewardship in the past, so they have given it a lot of thought.
“We are mindful,” says Alisa, that we have been given so much and our giv ing is a sign of gratitude and obedience to God. As we talk about our pledge each year, we try to recognize we are very blessed and our stewardship should not be the leftovers of our budget, but at the center of it.”
Mike adds, “We struggle with the right amount to give. There are always bills to pay and competing interests in our household budget. But we try to think about stewardship in a spiritual context and view our pledge as different than all the other checks we write.”
Alisa and Mike agree that stewardship is a “meaningful discipline and an important part of our faith journey at St. Paul’s.”