“Campaign” is such an interesting word. It is a French word from the ancient practice of a group gathering on a cathedral lawn or a church or village green, to camp together. As they camped they would get ready for an adventure. From the camp, they would make a “campaign.” But it need not be for war. It could be a camp of people gathered preceding a pilgrimage to a great and distant cathedral.
The pledge “campaign” which begins today and ends November 16 is sort of an encampment prior to a different kind of pilgrimage – a different kind of adventure. It may be an easy walk and it may be a hard one depending on how you greet gratitude and generosity it in your mind. People who hate giving will find it hard. People who love giving will greet it gently- even joyfully. I hope you will greet it gently, need-fully and with joy. I hope you will say “How wonderful that I am being asked to fund the mission of a church I love and I’ll do my best as an act of gratitude to God!”
OUR ONE PERCENT
I hope you welcome the cheerful challenge of a possible increase in your pledge- an increase of “OUR ONE PERCENT” seen on the pillar banners. I hope you see that the challenge of an increase in your pledge this year as a joyful hope that we might all make larger gifts, if possible, and that if a larger gift is not possible then, no problem. We are grateful for whatever you give. Really. And I hope that the 2017 pledges we raise over the next eight weeks are a good and first chapter to our new life with a new Dean.
Our job is to ask. Your job is to discern and then decide. God’s job is to host the conversations word by word by Word.
In those first years after Jesus died, Christians had to hide in cave. They would paint each other’s pictures on the cave walls, to kill time and for fun, and write slogans about being a Christian. Then they would leave their caves on pilgrimage, telling stories along the way. Later, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales are a good example.
This campaign will gather us on the lawn to be together – rich and poor alike. Then, from that grass, we will make a pilgrimage word, by word. Each week, look for a beautiful (donated) video in which some of our congregation sit in pairs and tell their story to each other. Each week you will consider a question and write words.
Your thoughts about your pledge tell a story. Your thoughts about giving tell a story. And the actual pledge you make on the pledge card – the one you receive by mail next week- will tell a story…perhaps a more accurate one than what you tell people or what you tell God.
The artistic theme of our campaign is flowing, colored ink. Ink made from minerals and oxides was painted onto cave walls. Ink flowed onto parchments made into letters set to distant lands telling the Good News of Jesus and calling for gifts to fund church mission. Those letters were gathered into books and then copied by faithful monks into Bibles. Blood flowed in martyrdom. Ink flowed as people told their stories. Ink even flows onto a pledge card - yours. Ink signed our birth certificates and will even sign our death certificates and the parish funeral register.
Make a pledge – the biggest one you can- out of gratitude for all you have. And join us November 16th for the second biggest party you have ever seen!