“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never felt closer to my church community.
Of course I miss being physically in the same space each Sunday morning. And I miss the warm greeting of the Passing of the Peace. And I long to sing with the choir again. But in so many ways, Old First is more a part of my weekly routine than ever before. There’s Zoom worship on Sunday, of course. And my weekly companionship group on Tuesday. And I often participate in virtual collaborative hymn singing for Holly. Sometimes I make it to Lunch with the Pastor. I haven’t yet made it to Bible Study or Prayer Group, but I always *think* about attending, which sort of spiritually connects me to the group, anyway!
And every day since the beginning of the pandemic, without fail, Bobbie and I exchange a short text to say what we are grateful for that day. Usually our gratitude is for the simple joys that surround us: “Today I’m grateful for the sunshine.” Or “I’m grateful for the butterflies.” And other times it’s silly: “Today I’m grateful for cheese curds,” said my Wisconsin friend recently! Sometimes our gratitude is deep and profound: “I’m grateful for friends that keep me from feeling lonely.” Frankly, some days it’s hard to find gratitude. “Today I’m grateful that it’s no longer Monday,” was all I could come up with on a recent Tuesday.
The discipline of exchanging our daily gratitude has kept me grounded throughout the pandemic, helping me to see all the ways that I am blessed even on days that have felt extremely hard. And it has also connected me to Bobbie and my faith community, even while Bobbie has been away in Wisconsin and while church is virtual only.
The theme for Old First’s 2021 Stewardship Campaign is Faithful Together. It may seem odd to focus on togetherness during this extended time of forced separation. But in reality, we’ve shown one another that as a community we are together, even when we are apart.
Just as our need to be together as a community has not diminished during quarantine, so too the needs of our church have not diminished even though we are not going to 4th & Race regularly. We still need to pay the electric bill, cover payroll for our dedicated staff, and provide for the needs of our guests at the shelter and Saturday Breakfasts. I hope you will join me in pledging my financial commitment to our congregation’s annual operating budget by making a pledge during this Stewardship Campaign.
You can pledge online by completing THIS FORM. Or, if you prefer, you can fill out and return the pledge card that you will receive in the mail. Whichever way you choose to respond, we ask you to complete your pledge by Stewardship Sunday, November 22.
If you have any questions about the campaign, feel free to reach out to me. If you would like to have a confidential conversation about your contribution, please contact Adam Sherr, Financial Secretary. [You can find our contact information in Breeze, or call Devan in the church office.]
Thank you for always being Faithful Together.
Yours in Christ,