March – From the Minister

Give Together. Grow Together.  Pledge Campaign 2015.

You know we run it very lean. It doesn’t look that way because the building is beautiful and relatively new. It doesn’t look as if we run it on a shoestring but the fact is that we do.  Paid staff work long hours here, committees run budgets to the bone, and the building isn’t paid for yet, so we’re carrying a mortgage, and stuff breaks down, wears out, just like in any other house. We run it very lean – but it doesn’t feel that way when you hear our choir sing, or the children’s choir drumming, or listen, with tears pooling in your eyes, to our teenagers lead a Sunday service, telling us what it’s like to be young, what it’s like to be them.  It’s like a report from the front, smuggled in.

We run it lean but you’d never know it, listening to the music or the children, or the voices raised at the capitol for marriage equality, for voter equality, gun reform, immigrant rights, racial justice, or for a living wage.

Think of the times you have been moved, shaken, inspired, amazed, comforted, or sorely challenged when someone lights the chalice on an ordinary morning, illuminating the whole room by opening their heart.

Why else would you become a member, and come as often as you do on Sunday, if not to see your congregation thrive, and to take part in that thriving?   And how else could it thrive, without the support of its own people (there is no other source of income), people who say:  “We will give this much money next year, out of our precious, limited household resources, because we believe in this church, in its work in the world, and its value in our daily lives, grounding us in principles, convictions, courage, hope, joy; transforming us, in fact, into better people than we maybe thought we ever could be – more thoughtful, more faithful, more kind, more accountable to the Larger Love, by whatever name you call it.  We will pledge this much,”  the people say, “so we can plan to pay the salaries, the mortgage and utilities, and plan for music and curricula, paper, markers, candles, computers, coffee, everything.”

It is not the house itself.  It’s what the house holds dear, it’s what the house contains, and makes possible within and far beyond its walls.   Will you join me, and make a pledge worthy of our shared dreams, our common work, our love of this community?

With gratitude,