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PLEDGE TIME

None of us likes to hear about giving money. We like it even less in church on Sunday. We feel as it we are being dunned or picked on. Getting the matter of “sacrifice” straight, of our offering our lives to God is at the heart of our getting what we mean by “church” right. I hate the term “church member.” We are parishioners. Otherwise it sounds as if we belong to Rotary or the local Garden Club. Now both are good organizations. The church is not an organization. Belonging to such organizations is, in a sense,”political.” We may feel free to join or leave, to withhold funds or give more, to quarrel with the board of directors or get into a blither about this that or the other.

Obviously the vision of the church we see in the New Testament and in the teachings of the Prayer Book have nothing to do with that sort of thing at all. The church isn’t something we join; something there for our personal enjoyment; something we can take or leave at will.Think of the font at church. Think of touching it. Think of it as the spiritual womb from which your new life in Christ sprung. It is because of the font, because God loved us and adopted us, that we are Christians and parishioners. God always starts things, even if we think we did it all ourselves alone! When we were baptized we lost the choice – at any rate the saving choice – to belong or not to belong. In our baptisms we became limbs, organs, blood cells in the Body ofChrist. We became interdependent. The Body began to rely on each one of us working together.

That working together is far more holy and of far greater consequence than a pledge and a time and talent card. It means that either we are in ministry and service to God and his church or we are not!

At the moment I know all about what happens when blood cells become enemies of the body and the destruction and death which may follow. The question is, “How do we look envision our self-offering and sacrifice in and through and towards each other and how will it show itself in concrete form during the next year? Please “touch” the font. Please remember that you are loved and adopted by God. Please remember that St. Thomas a Becket Church is you and that you are all mystically linked together as Christ comes in Eucharist and possesses the parish, all that we are, all that we own, and all that we shall be. Then pray as a family or alone if you live alone: you are never alone– and write that pledge as a sacrifice and symbol of who you are and whom you serve. No budget crisis this year please.

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