Stewardship Letter

The J Factor


I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (John 15:11)


Many years ago I heard a sermon that changed my life. It was at a diocesan convention of all places. The preacher was the Rev. Dr. Jim Forbes, who was the first African American pastor of historic Riverside Church in New York City. He said that in all of his years of Scripture reading and studying human behavior, he had found one thing and one thing only that was a guarantee of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives—the J Factor, aka joy.


Joy is distinct from transitory happiness or pleasure. Joy is the welling up of the Spirit of God in our hearts and minds. Joy is found in aligning ourselves with God’s call and purpose in our lives. Joy is found in experiencing love and support in community. Joy is found in truly knowing ourselves to be God’s beloved. 


One of the reasons I love St. Philip’s is that I experience the J Factor here every Sunday. No matter what is going on in my life or in the world, when I come to church I am renewed in the Spirit of God and energized for the week to come.


I pray that we all can continue to make St. Philip’s a place where the joy of Jesus is renewed in us and shared beyond our walls. I invite you to join me in praying, working, and giving to make that vision even more a reality in the coming year. Your gift of time, talent, and treasure is so important, so valuable, and so appreciated. 


You can fill out a pledge card and return it to church on November 6 or make your pledge online below.


Yours faithfully,

Eric Williams

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