If we were NPR, we might refer to the Annual Renewal Campaign (ARC) as the fall pledge drive. But this would be to impoverish the ARC’s goals. The ARC brings a month-long focus to bear on our necessity for spiritual renewal. It’s kind of simple. When we ask you to complete and return to us your estimate of financial giving (pledge card) for 2019 we are asking you for information we need to compile a realistic budget to support our community life going forward. You can view this request as a religious responsibility and or you can approach this request as a spiritual opportunity. It is the latter, a spiritual opportunity I would like to commend to you.
The secret of a long and fulfilling life is to not resist for too long the invitation to generous living. Generosity brings a level of satisfaction and reward that far exceeds simply fulfilling a sense of obligation. It flows from our connection to the sense of gratitude to God for all that we have been given to enjoy.
We are given the means for a full enjoyment of life not simply as a reward for following the rules of religious obligation like the rich young man in Mark’s story who asks Jesus: is obeying religious obligations enough to inherit eternal life? Like this rich young man, we too intuit that something more is required of us. That something more is to become good stewards entrusted to share what we have been given to enjoy for the benefit of the greater good.
It is gratitude flowing out into the world through generous living that brings us a deeper sense of connection and fulfillment. God calls us to be the worldly agents in pursuit of the divine vision for social justice, i.e. thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on this earth, as it is already in heaven.
What we are asking you to do is in the weeks between October 21st and November 18th to return your completed estimate of giving card for 2019. Remember, this is your best estimate of future giving to enable us to budget realistically. It is not a binding promise that takes no account of changing personal circumstances.
You will receive the estimate of giving card by mail in the week following October 21st, together with a letter from Fla Lewis, our chair of Finance and some other information that we hope will be helpful to you. You can return the card at any point over the four-week campaign or alternatively, you might like to bring your completed card and place it in the offertory plate on Sunday, November 18th which is designated Ingathering Sunday.
My friends, do good and share what you have because it is this that is pleasing to the Lord