I am writing to you a day after a wonderful Celebration Sunday. There was laughter and spirit and commitment flowing through the sanctuary and Berg Hall. It was a fabulous kick-off to a successful stewardship drive for our 2019-2020 fiscal year. I am so grateful for the multi-faceted generosity of this amazing congregation.
If you have not yet made your pledge for the year, your pledge increases can still be matched by the $30,000 fund which we received (from UUA funds matching legacy gifts from our members).
I am continually amazed that all of us together essentially create this church out of nothing – nothing but goodwill, love, and commitment. You make this church come into being through your service – through your time, talent, and treasure, your wisdom, work, and wealth.
We often talk about all of the volunteer time and work it takes to bring this community into being. Yet this blog post (from Rev. Erin Wathen, a Christian colleague) has a different taking on volunteering that really resonated with me. She says it is essentially impossible to be a volunteer at church.
“You cannot volunteer at your own church, in the same way you cannot babysit your own [children].
Because the church belongs to you in the same way your family does. It’s your own place, your own people. So of course you help take care of it.
Of course you do yard work and make coffee and teach the kids and sing in the choir and whatever all else it is you do for the home and the people you love.
A volunteer, in most cases, is just visiting. A fly-by. [It may be helpful], but it’s not the same as belonging to something. It’s not the same as contributing to something bigger than you, something that’s part of who you are.”Rev. Erin Wathen
We volunteer, she goes on, for outside organizations in need, “a place that is important to you, but not in a place that belongs to you.”
What we do at our church is serve. “We bring our gifts of love and service to the altar of humanity,” as the famously wise author anonymous tells us. This makes me all the more grateful for all the gifts – of time, talent, and treasure, of love and service – that our dear members and friends bring forth all the time.
We are creating a Beloved Community every day with every breath. It takes all our gifts, our strengths, our foibles, our dreams, our clear heads, our open hearts, our fullest presence.
So thank you, thank you, thank you