Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Why We're increasing Our Pledge This Year

I'm not going to lie to you.  We're going to feel this one.  We're going to feel this pledge increase because in 2016 Erin will be going to college.  So we're staring at double tuition.  And of course tuition's twin brothers "room" and "board".  You get the three as a package it seems.  As you can imagine, our finances have been preoccupied with making the most of this sitution.

But I write this with a huge smile on my face.  I'm reading Jane Smith's project blog posting about the solar panel project.  Not only are we currently generating carbon free electricity from the sun (cue applause sign).  But the small amount left over after fund raising has gone on to help seed new projects.  Like the mustard seed parable we read in sunday school.  The reality of today is that it's just too easy to get disheartened with the state of climate change inaction.  One can feel like our leaders are watching Rome burn.  Yet amid the macro obstacles, there is micro action stealing the day.  Church by church.  Project by project.  We are putting into action what this world needs.  It warms my heart.  This church is where the world needs to be.  This church is what the world needs.

As you know, I devote my time to our youth program.  I look at how it has become everything we thought it could be years ago.  And again my heart warms.  We are giving guidance to, and taking guidance from, these amazing leaders of the future.  The ones who will be on the front lines of fixing things like climate change.

I have a saying that I stole from a movie - youth group is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.  One day a room full of tired, school tasked, non-talkers.  Another day, a group bouncing off the walls with joy and excitement.  Still another day, wisdom beyond their years.  The youth want to serve, ... they just want to have fun doing it!  This year we will go on Appalachia Service Project in West Virginia.  Our church is again at the right place and doing the right thing.

I'm just so very excited about what is happening at the church and the positive energy that pervades it.  I am sorry for repeating myself to those who've heard this before.  But this church is the right church for the times we live in.  It has the message, the theology, the love focus, the out stretched hands, and the social action to get the message across.  We are all welcome.  We are all connected.  There is no "them", there is only "us".  Our world needs to hear this message and benefits from it.

So Judy and I gladly increase our pledge this year in order to feed the many mustard seeds we have been nurturing to their potential.

Paul Kiel