Our annual invitation to support the ministries of First Congregational, Darien is around the corner. Langdon van Ingen and the Pledge Committee will lead the initiative in the next weeks. I want to seed their worthy leadership with brief points culled from years of ministry and giving.
- “Life is for giving!” Do you remember that line from Les Miserables? To me, it means as we do our part within causes greater than ourselves, it transforms us, makes us better people. I have grown so accustomed to that deep feeling, I expect it, and I even crave it.
- Humans are at our best reaching out to others and caught up in something bigger than we are. Giving is not a burden. It is my chance to thank God for blessings more abundant than I could ever count. Having lived like this for so long, it would be painful if I couldn’t.
- I want to be a man like my recently deceased dad was. I also want to be like his father. Grandpa chaired the Trustees. As their little country church couldn’t afford coal in the winter, he raided his own coal bin….When the family farm was sold, ten percent off the top went to the church. That made dad and his siblings happy. It still makes me happy. You know why? We can tell what we truly believe by flipping through our check stubs.
- I don’t get embarrassed by talk of giving. I become your pastor because I believe FCC, Darien represents God’s work on earth. We are the real deal. As Jesus described God’s work, he called it the “kingdom of God”. It was his #1 subject. His second favorite topic? It was money or possessions, 17% of everything he said. I’m much softer on the matter.
- When talk of faith and money doesn’t embarrass you and you talk with others, you hear how they want to make a difference–extend their value system–beyond themselves. My calling to FCC, Darien is to help you learn new ways to give; I want to learn with you.
- God has great things in store for FCC. Do you believe it? Do you want it so badly you can taste it? I do. Let’s dream as big as God’s reign. But to become who God wants us to be, we must all pitch in. We need loving support and joyous sacrifice from all to meet our goal. As Peter Marshall said, a different world cannot be built by indifferent people.