Why do I give to Lyndale UCC?
Last week we heard from Rebecca, a member for 3 years. This week you get me – a member of Lyndale UCC for 36 years.
58 years ago, when Dan and I started our lives together, we agreed on a goal of giving 10%, saving 10% and happily using the rest of our income as needed/desired. A lofty goal, seldom met, but church has always, gladly, gotten the lion’s share of our giving and still does.
I give to Lyndale UCC because I want it to thrive. Why? Because of what it does for me, for us, and for the wider community/world.
There’s the worship. Every week I’m invited to bring body and spirit together. I need that. The gift of music – hymns, choir, piano, special guests – fillsse. The sound of children’s voices bring smiles (not scowls). The word preached is thoughtful, often inspiring, always relevant. Joys and sorrows are shared, both laughter and tears are welcomed.
Where else is it safe for one with a mental illness to share the depths of his anguish or one who’s been abused to give insight into her pain from our pulpit? Where else can folks be assured that we are not defined by our worst moments, where we seek the diving in all? The welcome to all is truly genuine.
Then there’s the community. Together new life is celebrated, vigils kept at the bedside of the dying, a much-needed meal served, a ride given, a shoulder to cry on – I could go on…
And, importantly, this church takes seriously the charge to follow the teachings of Jesus and genuinely seeks to bring about a more just world, be it on the streets advocating for the sanctity of black lives, through opportunities to give moral and/or financial support to immigrants, to seek ways to fight the endless injustices in our world.
Finally, I’m glad that some of the money I give goes to the wider church. We are privileged to be part of a church body that has historically and consistently placed itself in the forefront of issues of justice and peace – the Civil Right movement, advocating for gay rights, environmental racism, and in 2005, the first church in America to endorse marriage equality, not to mention the first church to ordain women, and thankfully, the first mainline Christian church to ordain GLBT folks!
I hope you value all the varied things that Lyndale UCC is, and make a thoughtful, generous decision about your investment of money, time and prayer in this remarkable church.