By the Reverend Manisha Dostert, Senior Associate Rector
Ah, October. A wonderful month replete with fall leaves, cider mills and donuts, tailgating, halloween candy. And pledge cards.
The pledge campaign is one of the most wonderful unofficial seasons of the church year. Some think it is all about fundraising for the church, and I completely understand how folks can see it that way. Often there is talk about paying the light bills, our clergy salaries, or funding programs and all of that requires people to buy in. Even I think about that now and again. I like to do the math, too. Our pledge amount ($1,475,000) divided by the number of families (550) means that an average of $2,680 a year or $223 a month from each of us would cover all of our bills and there would be little talk for the rest of the seasons about money. I think about how some families give less and some give more and all of us contribute what we can to make the church work.
Except that is not really what is vital about pledging. Why pledging gives life is when you fill out a pledge card and let go of it in the offering plate or mail, you actually prove to yourself and the world that yes, you believe God is real and this is why you are GIVING AWAY your money, one of your most precious possessions, to God. When you pledge to the church, you are actually giving to God who gave us everything in the first place. It is your way of saying to God, “I need you to know I know you, am in awe of you, and adore you. This is a tangible way for me to show you that.” And because you gave it away, it has no strings attached, no expectations baked in. You simply give because you need to show God you trust and believe.
And this is why pledge season is vital to our faith. When you and I fill out a pledge card and bring it to God’s altar at the In-Gathering on October 27/28, we are acting out of deep faith that God receives our gift. And God is pleased with our pledge, because we gave it not because we had to, but wanted to. Now is the season to give your gift to God and show your faith.