I have been calling many of you. I have been visiting by phone and zoom and emailing and I am hearing a few comments over and over. One is you want more transparency. You long for contact and interactions with one another. Another is that you are not sure the church has asked for enough money to keep it running. You have indicated that you want to have more opportunities to talk things through. You miss seeing one another in ways we can interact. You also want to continue your work on justice and anti-racism while holding up the need to love and care for one another.
All of that takes resources: staffing, a building, time, and YOU.
To that end, I started doing post-service chats on weeks I preach. They have been lovely. We share joys and concerns, grief and gratitude, and have a moderated discussion about the sermon topic. I have started looking at ways we can easily distribute agendas, budgets, stories, and reports with you. We are starting down that path. You will see the upcoming Stewardship process offers us a way to talk about money unlike we have in a long time. For those of you more curious, ask. There is nothing anyone is hiding but more that we have put so much effort into keeping worship and the congregation going during pandemic that many of these valid needs have not been addressed. Pandemic has been challenging in every church. The issues we face are not unique. This is your congregation. Part of having independent polity means we participate to create “church.” Soon you will receive invitations to participate in covenantal conversations about our values and how it matches where we spend our money.
We will be offering cottage meetings- small group gatherings to learn more about what it takes to run the church and where we stand against other congregations in financial health. It is also going to be a time to take a deep look at just what do we do with your time, talent, and treasure. So much of what we do as a congregation to care for one another is confidential. To many folk’s surprise, we are all a people of need. This congregation has held so much love for people and provided ministry resources so that we can hold your deepest traumas and your pain. We are going to give you a glimpse of that part of the church that serves our friends in their times of difficulty. The pandemic has exacerbated how much need the congregation has to turn to one another and to your ministers in difficult times. We have shown up and we need more resources to do more good.
Sending kindness, RevD