Spoken at 9/29/21 The Vine
Last week I made my financial pledge to Grace Cathedral for the coming year, and I was asked to if I would like to speak about why I give. I would!
Stewardship is a word that encompasses many concepts – all of us here at The Vine, and all of us at Grace Cathedral are stewards of this service and this special place. We serve this institution so that in turn it can serve us too. We do this through our presence, our participation, our greeting, reading, singing, and caring, and we do this through financial participation. It is traditional in the fall to raise the financial participation in this season called stewardship season.
I did not grow up in the church. I feel like I grew up next to the church – I was baptized at age four and I loved singing and praying with others at chapel in camp and school, but I did not regularly attend a church. When I first became a church member as an adult, I did not understand that the budget was funded by the members. I thought that the national church or diocese paid for it – from what funds I am not sure as I didn’t think about it. During stewardship seasons I heard testimonials from parishioners, and I learned that our participation is critical because there is no funding from “above.” Since then, I have been making my pledge annually, prayerfully considering the amount I can contribute.
This year at Grace the stewardship theme is Renewed in Faith – 100% Grace. This theme speaks to me when I think about The Vine – and of Grace Cathedral as a whole. I came to The Vine several years ago seeking renewal of my relationship with God. I found that, as well as community. The Vine embodies an open door into this holy place – combining welcome, worship, and heady exploration of our Gospel messages. 100% Grace represents the coming together of all the aspects of cathedral life – from the pageantry of the 11 am service to lying on the floor for yoga – a cathedral is for the people.
100% Grace also means that through 100% participation in the stewardship campaign, the building and programs of the cathedral can flourish. As we each give according to our abilities, the collective pledges sustain the annual costs of all that is available here. I am honored to be part of this 100%.