I am a little wary of talking about the capital campaign on a Sunday we read from Amos, but here we go.
We are rocks.
I am a rock. Not in the Simon and Garfunkel, sitting alone in a room, looking out the window, kind of way. Not in the Rock of Gibraltar, left-over remnant of another era, kind of way. No, I am a rock, and we are rocks, in the Peter, the rock of the church,– not even the gates of hell will prevail against us — kind of way.
Except, I don’t always feel that strong. Let’s be honest, I never feel that strong. Sometimes, I feel that rather than being some unbreakable boulder, I might be nothing more than the chip off of a small pebble.
Last year, in Sunday School, when we studied Peter, I gave each of the students a stone to represent how they are each the rock of the church. I still have mine. Here it is. Tiny little thing, not likely to serve as the foundation for much of anything.
That is a bit how I felt when I was asked to Chair the Lead Gifts effort for the capital campaign. I felt unsure in my ability to do the job, worried about finding the time as I get ready to be a father, and anxious at the thought of asking people I didn’t know as well as I would like, to make sacrificial commitments, above and beyond their normal giving, to Old First.
Before each meeting, whether it was to ask people to help me call on others, or when I was calling on people directly, I tried to think of something, anything, else I could do to delay making the phone call or getting out of the car. That little pebble was jostling loose.
But then a wondrous thing would happen, I picked up the phone, or knocked on the door, and was met with a warm greeting and proceeded to learn just a little bit more about some other rocks of the church. The example and stories of those rocks helped steady and strengthen my little pebble, binding it with others. The anonymity of the Lead Gifts process, precludes me from naming those I want to publicly thank, but please know that I am personally thankful.
That is why I have my hand in the capital campaign. Reaching out to others in the church has been a fortifying experience for me and my faith. With the hands of everyone here in the capital campaign, each of our rocks will jostle a little less, become a little stronger, and make for a surer foundation for the church.
It is true, our building needs some work. And it is true, our outreach might benefit from some deliberative consideration of new contexts. But, more than either of those, I need your hand in the campaign, we need your hand in the campaign, the church needs your hand in the campaign, and maybe, you need your hand in the campaign as well.