This is my letter-writing desk. I love to write letters. My father gave me a bottle of ink one day and said, “This little bit of liquid can raise cities and can poison relationships. Use this ink with great care to motivate people to be their best selves. ” I still try to use ink, alongside computers and telephones, to inspire giving and peace. It is as much my responsibility to ask for money as it is the congregation’s responsibility to give money to fund Jesus’ mission. It’s simple.I am not raising money. I am trying to convert people. The money is a side benefit.
This is the last two weeks of the pledge campaign. In the Episcopal Church 3% of pledgers increase their pledge. In our cathedral this year 70% have increased their pledge. It is stunning. There is no other word for it.
And yet, we still have not heard from 250 families who pledged last year, and that represents $500,000 of pledges not yet received. If we receive them, we will reach our goal. And if we reach our goal, we will be able to do all the ministry we seek to do in 2016. If not, we begin to slash the mission by cutting the budget. And that would be stunningly sad.
So I am very excited. We are calling all our members and asking them to commit. People are working 15 hours a day to help us. We steam on ahead.
Jesus came to us as “the Word.” God Spoke creation into existence. Words are important.
I pray that our lovely congregation of good people understand that our calls and letters are WORDS asking fro support for our mission. In Luke’s gospel, we are told that Jesus’ ministry and mission was funded by women. He asked. They gave. We are asking. We pray our family gives.
We write. We pray. We call. We make meaning with our money. That’s what we do.
May God soften the hearts of those furious for being asked. May God warm the hearts annoyed at being asked. May God enliven the hearts of those who make meaning with their money by giving. And may all manner of thing be well.