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By Joe LaVela
Christianity is meant to be practiced in community. Jesus did not do his ministry alone – he called the twelve – and he never sent anyone on a mission alone.
Community makes this place a “Space for Grace.” Here we encounter a beloved community enriching us by inspiring us, teaching us, and helping us grow as Christians. Community is here to support us in times of need, to pray for our healing, and to provide us strength, comfort, and hope.
It means something when we say we are members of a community of faith. As members, we take on the responsibility and accountability that goes with that. People are counting on us. We are called to regular attendance because our presence matters to others and in our absence, we are missed. We are called to participate in its work and mission. And we are called to support the community financially.
As members, we are asked to make annual pledges to support our ongoing mission. Do we have to? No, there is no rule requiring it, and neither the warmth nor sincerity of our welcome depends on it. But seeing it in terms of obligation misses the point, I think. It’s not something we “have to do.” It’s something we “get to do.”
We get to demonstrate to God how thankful we are for the abundance with which we are blessed in concrete ways that make a difference in the lives of others. We get to discover that we can afford to be as generous as deep in our hearts we know we want to be. When we see all the good work that this community of faith does, we get to say to ourselves, “I was part of that, I helped make that happen.”
Yes, taking our place as members of a community of faith means that we are taking something on. And, yes, that means giving up some of our time and some of our money. But it is worth it. Participation as a member of a faith community leads us to lives of greater meaning and purpose. And we get to experience our participation more fully when we back it with a commitment. Then, grace abounds, feeding our souls. It is not a burden but a blessing.
We invite everyone who considers Christ Church Cranbrook your spiritual home to consider making a pledge to support our mission and ministry in 2023. For more information or to make your pledge online, click here. For questions, please get in touch with Rev. Chris Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.