Friday, October 31, 2008

THe Pledge Drive

It's that time of year again.

Here's the Vicar's contribution to the Nov. newsletter:


The leaves are turning, Advent appraoches, another year draws to an end as we prepare to welcome the next. Always, we are drawn into the future even as we are called to live fully in the moment. The delicate, joyful (one hopes) balancing act/dance of the people of the God who is always calling.

I invite you, as the days grown short and the nights lengthen to carve out some time for yourselves to think about who you are and who you want to be, to live in the moment and face into the future.

And, as we always do at this time of the year, I ask you also to consider your stewardship for the coming year. I ask you to do this not primarily for the sake of your contribution to the life of Sain David's, although that, too, is important to us. But I ask you to consider it primarily as a part of your thinking about who you want to be -- who God is calling you to be. If you want to be a generous person, the only way to get there is to practice generosity. As for whether you want to be a generous person -- let me remind you, generous people live with a sense of abundance. They always seem to feel as if they have enough and then some. Ungenerous people, on the other hand, never have enough -- no matter how much they have. Not only does God call us to generosity, but our own happiness, peace of mind, and joy depend on our answering that call.

I ask you, as your pastor, to consider how much of yourself you need to give away in order to be and become a generous person, living with a sense of abundance. As the Vicar of Saint David's I ask you to consider, as a next step, how much of what you need to give away you want to designate to the life and work of this community. You know that we are facing a struggle to gte our feet back under us. You know that prices continue to rise. Keeping this community alive and available for you, for one another, and for the broader community is expensive. I ask you to consider what this community means to you -- now and for your future. What does it mean to you to have this community available to you every week (every day, if you ask)? What does it mean to you to know that we're here to celebrate and mourn with you -- to support you through the passages of your and your families' lives? What would it be like not to know that you could call on a community that knows and loves you when tragedy strikes, when life becomes too stressful, or when you want to celebrate new jobs, births, or the myriad joys that life brings? What are you willing and able to contribute to keep this community alive and available?

The diocese has taken a strong interest in St. David's. They often comment on the remarkable spirit of this place. (Truly, you are remarkable. The love, humor, tenderness, and strength of this community are not found just everywhere). And they have put their money where their mouths are. +Bud, on behalf of the diocese, has made a $5,000 challenge pledge. The diocese will match (up to 5K) each new dollar St.David's brings in during our pledge drive this year. That means every new pledge will be matched, dollar for dollar, by the diocese. Those of you who have been supporting this community with your pledges and are able to increase your giving next year will have that increase matched. So, $500 in new or increased pledge, will bring St. David's $1000. $50 gets us $100.

And for the kids -- 25 cents a week, which would be $13/yr, becomes $26. In fact, because I think teaching our children to be good stewards, generous people, excited about giving, is so important, I'll also issue a challenge to our kids (under 16). I'll add a match of my own to their pledges. So, 25 cents a week would, with both the diocese's and my match, mean $39 to St. David's. $1/wk would mean $52/yr from the kid, $52 from the diocese, and $52 from me for $156 to St. David's.

Please think first about how much you need to give away for your own soul's health.Then, please, think about how much of that total you'd like to pledge to St. DAvid's. Six members of our financial viability committee have agreed to go out, in pairs, to meet with member of the congregation to talk with you about the life of St. David's. What do you value here? What do you wish we would/could do? How would you like to support this work? Where can you volunteer? How can we help you help? And, of course, what do you think you'll be able to give next year? May we have your pledge?

As always, please feel free to give me a call, drop me an email, make an appointment, or grab me after a service if you'd like to talk more about this, or anything. And, again as always, thank you for all you do to make St. David's the extraordinary place it is. Your time, your financial support, and, most important of all, the spirit you bring through the door with you make all the difference. I can't thank you enough.

God bless you,


(of course our struggling little church is happy to accept donations from friends from afar, as well. Feel free to send a check to St. David's Church, PO BOx 192, Pepperell, MA 01463!)


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