During this fall season where we reflect on stewardship, Megan Long shares about her own experiences with giving – of time, talents, actions, finances, and more.
Join us on Commitment Sunday, November 19, as we dedicate pledges and give thanks the gifts of this community. If you feel led to make a pledge, use the online pledge form.
Like many of you, I have a long history of giving to the church, specifically this church actually. An early memory is of my parents giving me 15 cents allowance to be divided up 3 ways into spending, saving and giving containers. Each week I carefully put one of those nickels into my tiny offering envelopes, attempted to seal it up, and then brought it into Sunday school to put in the offering plate. I knew that I was doing something “good” but I’m not sure the meaning went much farther than that. I think I assumed my nickels got divided up between the gas and electric bill and some local charities.
A few years after that, when I attended confirmation class, we learned about the importance of pledging annually—to help the church plan its budget. We talked about it being a promise or intention and trying to meet it by the end of the year. So I did some tough reflecting and predicted my babysitting and summer lifeguarding income for the upcoming year to try to come up with a pledge.
Eventually, as an adult, I began to learn about how the church operates. And I’m pleased to report that pledging annually started to become much more meaningful. As I got more involved, even serving on Session and the Child Care Council, I was able to see just how much goes on in the life of this church and this church building. In preparing to speak today, I spent time browsing our CPC website and reviewing some recent social media posts (thank you Michael!). We’re incredibly privileged to have so many wonderful programs, groups, events and special people here! There is just an immense amount of activity, education, spiritual growth, and fellowship going on.
Which brings me up to this year and our theme of “belonging”. I really like this theme as it relates to giving. When we feel a bond, we feel a much stronger urge to support something. I’m sure most of us are being asked to donate to lots of different charities. Where do your dollars go? Where do you volunteer? How do you decide? Chances are it’s an organization you feel a deep connection to. It speaks to you in some way.
As I reflect on this past year and look ahead to 2024, I’m reminded that our annual pledge isn’t just about money. We’re also pledging our gifts, our talents, our actions. So let’s all ask ourselves, “where do we fit in? where do we belong?”