Why I pledge: Stewardship Sunday 2013

This was written for last week but Stewardship Sunday got moved to this week because of the big storm. It has, of course, snowed again this weekend – today it’s snowing sideways.

This piece kept trying to turn into a sermon. The end feels too short, but that’s probably because I cut off the “sermon ending” because I was already over limit. Three minutes! How do you say anything useful in three minutes? Oh well. Not My Day To Write The Sermon.

Hi. I’m C., and I am not a joiner. I became a member here about five years ago when there was an issue before the annual meeting and I had an opinion and wanted to vote. I made my first pledge at the time, because it seemed to me that if I was asking for the privilege of voting on how we allocate our shared resources, I had the responsibility to contribute to them.

I pledge so that we can maintain our facilities and support the programs that nourish our community. I pledge so that we can reach out beyond these walls through Faith-In-Action initiatives. I pledge because we as a community are committed to fairly compensating the professionals we call to work with us when the job gets too big for us volunteers to handle. I pledge so that we can keep the commitments we make.

I pledge because I value what we do here and I am grateful that my personal resources allow me to do it. I was inspired a couple of years ago by the “fair share” giving campaign and worked out that for a full-time employee like me, one hour’s wages is 2.5%, so I start there and round up to an easy number. It is an amount that I notice, money I certainly could spend on other things, but I contribute here because I value this community and our work in the world. Someday I want to do more; right now I can do this.

I pledge because this church has taught me vision: the understanding that what we do here and now builds on foundations laid five or fifteen or fifty years ago, by people gone before us. And what we do here and now is in turn the foundation for what is to come five or fifteen or fifty years from now, work we can only imagine, shaped by people we have yet to meet. What I pledge is a drop in our bucket, but I give knowing that I am contributing to a whole far greater than the total of its parts.

I hope we make budget this year. I hope we make budget this year with enough left over to increase the hours for music staffing, because that needs to be done. I think we can do it; the challenge is getting the rest of the “little guys” to believe it’s important enough and plausible enough to make the effort.

And by union what we will
Can be accomplished still:
Drops of water turn a mill,
Singly none, singly none.

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