Dear Friends in Christ—
I am the one who pays the bills in our house. At the beginning of each month, I sit down with
my computer and (because I am old school) a checkbook, and I decide where our money goes.
I do not enjoy this process. I know very few people who do.
There is one moment, however, that makes me feel good. After I have balanced the numbers
from last month, and before I tackle the payments that will chip away at the month to come, I
write a check. (Like I said, old school.) That check is my pledge.
This pledge-check-first habit started years ago. I can’t remember who suggested it to me. But I
remember the logic: God should get your “first fruits”—or, in less biblical terms, first dibs. I
agreed with that logic.
But I also discovered something more. Writing that check first felt good. Because it showed me
that I could be generous. Whatever else I would feel during that month—anxious, worried,
upset, apprehensive (there’s a theme here with money)—I had a moment where I could choose
confidence. In the face of doubt, I could choose hope. In the face of fear, I could choose joy.
Any day now, you will receive your pledge card in the mail. Your pledge card is of course a
practical matter, but it is also a spiritual tool. It is an invitation to personal reflection and an
opportunity for personal commitment. And it is, potentially, a tool for the practice of joy.
Because stewardship is about our life together, we’ll also do some of the work of discernment
together, hearing during our liturgies in the weeks to come from members of this congregation
about what giving means to them.
If you have questions—please ask. If you are wondering who sees your pledge card (its
confidential), where the tithe comes from (the Bible), or anything else, I’m glad to talk with you
I am grateful to Bill Malone and Geoff Whitlock, and to the entire stewardship team, for inviting
us into this time of shared commitment. It has the potential to be transformative, for each of
us as individuals, and for our community as a whole.
Yours in Christ,