Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest
Sitting on Stewardship

by Mitsi Willard


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I’ve been thinking a lot about chairs lately. When I first came on staff as the Director of Children’s Ministries in 2017, the committee responsible for renovating the upper Parish House made the decision to purchase new furniture for the Sunday School classrooms. At the time, the order of 12 new chairs per classroom seemed like overkill. Our Sunday School classes usually had around 4 or 5 children in attendance. I worried that all those empty chairs would sit unused.


Over the past year, as we made plans for the renovation of the Children’s Wing, there were even more discussions of chairs. What chairs for middle schoolers? For high schoolers? Do we put chairs in the Gathering Space? Is this too many? Is it enough?


Imagine my amazement when, on our first official day of Sunday School, we ran out of chairs. The 34 chairs we had ordered for the Children’s Gathering Space: all full. The 12 little chairs of the Kindergarten classroom that seemed over-the-top 2 years ago: insufficient. The 16 chairs in the middle grades classroom: only two were empty.


We’re running out of chairs, and we have just gotten started. So what does this have to do with stewardship? A lot, actually. Stewardship is supporting our church financially, often in good faith. It’s buying all those tiny blue chairs, in the hopes we might one day need them. The faithful stewardship of our church over the past years has built a beautiful suite of classrooms for our youngest parishioners. On Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, those classrooms are now alive with children, with volunteers, with learning, play, and song. Our stewardship continues to create a place for children and families at Heavenly Rest. It ensures that we have access to great instructional materials for teaching the children of our church what it means to be part of God’s plan.


Even through our time without a permanent Rector, our church has continued to grow. We have attracted and retained many new families in the past two years. There are no signs that our growth is going to slow down anytime soon. Stewardship makes it known that we value families and children not only as the future of the church, but as the church today.


As the Episcopal church, we declare that “All are Welcome.” “All” does not discriminate based on age or ability. Through our stewardship, we make sure that there is a place for everyone in our church; emotionally, spiritually, and literally.


We are always in need of volunteers. If you would be interested in greeting our HRKids and families on Sunday mornings, serving as a substitute teacher or a table parent at Wednesday evening dinners, let Mitsi know! If you’re on Facebook, be sure to like “Heavenly Rest Abilene” and “Heavenly Rest Kids” for updates!


For more articles like this, check out our monthly newsletters. 


STJES Chapel w/Clergy Wednesday, Feb 26 - All Day
Ash Wednesday Service Wednesday, Feb 26 @ 7:00 PM
Morning Prayer Service Thursday, Feb 27 @ 8:30 AM
Thursday Bible Study Thursday, Feb 27 @ 9:30 AM
Hands On Outreach Thursday, Feb 27 @ 9:30 AM

February 16, 2020
Sunday, February 16, 2020
The Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest | ADDRESS: 602 Meander Street • Abilene, Texas 79602 PHONE: (325) 677-2091 |  Site by Church Website Design
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Welcome to Heavenly Rest



Welcome to Heavenly Rest! We are glad you are visiting our site and hope you will accept this invitation to become part of this faith community.  Together we seek to know the reconciling love of the God and share that love with everyone.  Beautiful worship, exquisite music, inclusive fellowship, generous outreach and excellent Christian education await you. We thank God that more and more people are making this church their spiritual home.  Feel the caring, sharing, creating and serving that God intended for your soul at Heavenly Rest.


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