This is my personal blog. My views are my own and do not represent those of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Pay It Forward

It is that time of year when congregations request that their members make a financial commitment to the work of the community for the upcoming year.  The chair of our stewardship committee, David Roane, wrote the following letter for the White Spire.  I thought it was so great, I decided to post it here:
Dear Friends,

I went to EarthFare for lunch last week, and built a really pretty plate of colorful vegetables that would make any cardiologist proud. As I got to the cashier, I was behind a woman who ordered a blended drink that would take a couple of minutes to prepare. So, she was still standing there when I started to pay for my lunch. The cashier weighed my plate and said, “That’ll be $7.44.” To my surprise, I found that my wallet was not in my pocket! But then to my relief, my checkbook was. I scrambled to write out a check for the amount, handed it over and heard the cashier say, “I need to see your driver’s license.” I told her it was in my wallet, to which she replied, “I can’t take your check without your driver’s license.” Well, shoot. This was awkward. I guess there was nothing to do other than to walk away, leaving my plate to be thrown out. The woman in front of me spoke up and took money out of her purse to buy my lunch. I let her. I was hungry and the cashier was just going to throw my food away. I told the woman, “Thanks. I’ll pay you back.” She said, “Pay it forward.”

“Pay it forward” is a phrase in vogue. It means to give as an act of pure generosity without any expectation whatsoever of being paid back, or even of being thanked. It’s a beautiful gesture. And it is in this spirit of giving that I want to introduce this year’s Pledging Campaign.

We’ll begin our annual Pledge Campaign soon. Several of us from the Stewardship Committee will be speaking to you, briefly, during our Sunday services. We’ll be encouraging you to make a definitive pledge to the church for the coming year. This is important. The church needs your generous financial support.
Your act of pledging serves two functions. First, making a pledge signifies a commitment of generosity on your part to support the financial life of the church. It gives you a goal to achieve. During the year, we’ll send you updates on how you’re doing in fulfilling your pledge. For some of us, these are helpful. Second, the pledge you make is used by the Stewardship committee to plan our budget for the coming year. We need to have an idea about what to expect so we can plan accordingly.

In the spirit of “Paying it forward”, please join in supporting our church. Pledge your best.

Thank you, and many blessings on you and yours.
David Roane

Thanks David!  This congregation is a blessing.  I have said this for the past seven years, but during this time of grief, we have felt it at the heart level.   This congregation fills a crucial need in this community.   We are thrilled that new members will be joining us on October 28th and we will celebrate that and we will celebrate all of those who have "paid it forward" at our annual Gratitude Dinner.

You are welcome to join us as our own Sandra Garrett will cook up something special!
Please join us after Worship on Sunday, October 28th as we celebrate the very special place that is FPCe! Once again the Stewardship Team and Session will be capping off the 2013 Stewardship Pledge Campaign with a "Gratitude Dinner." In addition to celebrating our gratitude for FPCe, we will celebrate one another, including our newest members, whom we will welcome in a special ceremony during Worship.

The 2011 Gratitude Dinner gave us a chance to explore some of the tastes of the Mediterranean with a Greek menu. This year we'll move slightly to the west, and explore Italy's cuisine. If you're thinking red sauce, think again! The menu will incorporate regional elements while also honoring the season of harvest and bounty - another cause for gratitude!

So, set aside the afternoon for food,fellowship, greetings and gratitude!


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