Last month, writing about our community plate, I mused out loud: “What if we went as deep in our support as we have gone broad? What if we zeroed in on one issue and made a truly noticeable difference?” Well, you did it – and incredibly so. On Sunday, December 10th, instead of the typical $500, our community plate raised an astonishing $19,014!
Perhaps it was the appeal of the $5,000 matching funds made available by a generous congregant. (Thank you! You know who you are.) Perhaps it was our long-term commitment to make homelessness a social justice priority. Perhaps it was the high visibility and clearly defined goals of the Concord Coalition to End Homelessness (CCEH). Perhaps it was the cold weather reminding us of a basic need many of us take for granted. Perhaps it was your kind heart connecting with our covenant “to help one another.” And most likely it was a combination of all of these and more.
Your generosity will have a concrete and noticeable impact. And it comes in addition to the $20,600 already donated or pledged to the CCEH’s Safe Spaces Campaign by congregants prior to December 10th. That makes for almost $40,000 in support from our church alone, or close to 10 percent of total private giving to date. So much of what CCEH will be able to accomplish in the years to come will be a direct result of our generosity. Thank you! I am so proud to be publicly associated with our congregation, and I hope so are you.
What else makes you proud to be a part of this faith community? I’d love to hear from you. Just a line or two (or more if you feel inspired). Are you proud of our solar panels? Do you take pride in our offerings of contemplative practices? The quality of our Greens Fair? Our work with refugees? Our commitment to healthy communication? The beauty of our woods? Our welcoming attitude towards diverse spiritual paths?
Talking with a friend, what would be the three things you would get most excited about telling them regarding our community? Our passion for music, OWL (Our Whole Lives), our covenant groups, the way we care for one another, our visibility at rallies and service events?
I used to hesitate feeling pride as part of my belonging to a group. I was concerned about how it would affect my attitude toward those belonging to other groups. I still think there is a danger, yet I believe that we can learn to feel proud of the identity and accomplishments of our own group while maintaining respect and appreciation for other groups and their members. Belonging to a group does not imply a sense of superiority. May we all help model this kind of healthy pride in the groups we value, as we engage with those whose passions and values are different.
With love and gratitude,