Reared as Episcopalians in the spiritual milieu of India’s plural society, where the larger body of the Christian church is discriminated against, Molly and I have come to believe that pledging financial support to one’s church is both a necessity and a moral obligation, returning to God a portion of what we have received from God. A pledge, thus, allows us all to share our many blessings to help further Jesus’ mission of love and compassion in the world.
Like many others bred in similar fashion, we, too, find ourselves questioning our rhetorical commitment: Are we fulfilling our responsibility as good stewards of all that God has given us? We are also reminded in and by scripture to pray and to provide support to those who give of themselves in taking the Gospel to various parts of the globe. We have come to realize that when we---all of us--- give our offerings into our churches and into ministries that are reaching the world, we get included in their eternal reward.
Everything we do as Episcopalians is to empower the immediate community to experience and understand the unique vision of the parish of Trinity, which is clearly rooted in putting your faith in action and deepening your connection with God. Pledging to Trinity helps us do that! While regular non-pledged giving is important, a committed pledge helps the Vestry plan in better using the resources available and enabling our healthy menu of ministries to thrive and grow.
In a nutshell, pledging is important because Trinity is important, its work is important. Our giving, however modest, matters to us because Trinity matters!
What does this pledge buy/get for us? Along with other pledging families, big and small, we help build a strong church community on which we have become strongly attached to. This community has, and I know, will be there for us in good times and bad. This community is also, a place for our children to be free, open, and able to explore their own faith path.
There are a few other components to pledging and that is your time and talent. The Grabner family is certainly not the largest pledging family, but we try to make up for that in other ways by being on the Vestry, special committees, bells and playing recorder, photography and sacristan. We try to make our church home a beautiful place to worship.
The last component of pledging and perhaps the least godly is the business side of our church community. This includes bricks and mortar, the church grounds, good competent creative staff, starting at the top with Devon, Andrew, Chip, Anne, Gary, and the office administrator. Without a strong solid pledging church community, we start to erode the welcoming look of our church grounds and creative staff that helps build, develop and implement our church community, programming for all ages, and beautiful musical notes that float in the air every Sunday in our sanctuary.
The above may be the least godly but this is the very foundation on which all things in our church community can be built on. Faith, worship, community during the good times and in the bad, this is why Jenny and I and April and Joel pledge our time, talents and treasure to Trinity Church. I hope you will join us in doing so as well.
The fact that Trinity is in the town I grew up in is important to me. I walked past the Church every day as I went to school or took the bus to the high school. It also provided a place to congregate for many of the Excelsior youth who needed a spiritual foundation.
Trinity has always attracted community leaders which in my early adulthood provided some much appreciated guidance. The Church was also the site of our marriage and became a place of family worship for us as our children formed their spiritual beliefs. The present leadership with Devon as our Rector continues to do a great job of shaping the Church to meet the needs of the parishioners and at the same time challenge them in a positive way in their walk of faith.
We are provided opportunities to learn, grow and participate to deepen our commitment to our Church and the world that is beyond Trinity's walls of worship.
It has been our experience that Trinity accepts all people, regardless of their background, preferences, or where they are in their spiritual journey. We love that Trinity encourages meaningful dialogue about challenging issues in our society and provides strong examples for how to conduct a thoughtful debate. We are a faith community with many and often diverging opinions, and we are, at the same time, committed to the practice of listening to one another in a deep and respectful way.
Another reason we give financial resources to Trinity is that the congregation offers adult and peer mentorship to our children in a safe and loving environment. Our children are encouraged to ask questions and are allowed the intellectual freedom and guidance needed to find their own way. Trinity is a place where our whole family can join together in service and outreach both inside and outside Trinity's walls.
Our financial participation ensures that that our community continues to be the kind of environment that both nurtures and challenges our family. We also feel that our giving is appreciated and celebrated - what we are able to give matters deeply to the community.