I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to pledge and to give to one’s parish. As I’ve told many of you and even preached last fall, I learned what it means to be generous right here at All Saints. It was here that another parishioner told me just to tithe and not worry about the details. It was here that I learned to give generously, even if it made me a little nervous. So I did, not to be a big shot or even to make the church budget possible; rather, it was a way to learn to trust that all I have comes from God and to learn how pry my fingers from my wallet and, thus, from my pride and ego.
That’s all to say, Dear Ones, that giving as a follower of Jesus is different from being a philanthropist or an effective altruist. We give as a recognition of our dependence on and trust in God. We give to soften our hearts and remember that we are not, ultimately, in charge.
And, of course, we give to our church, to All Saints, because we love this place and people and we want it to continue. We give because we want to be here when someone is in need. We give because we want this place of joy and justice to persist into the future. We give because God and this place give meaning to our lives. We give because people in the past gave, ensuring that we can know God in this place, and we want to make sure that in 2083 this good place will still stand with new people, new programs, new ideas, all enlivened and loved by the same God we are.
Our fabulous pledge co-chairs Jack Garland and Katrina Kasten have provided lots of inspiration and direction for how to give this year; more information in the links below.
So, Beloved, pledge!