Extending Our Welcome
Strengthening Our Service
The Campaign for Old First
As the Chair of the Capital Campaign, I offer today the first in a series of testimonies that Old First congregants will share as Affirmations of Faith as we proceed with the Capital Campaign.
The top 5 reasons I’m hooked on Old First… why my hand is in for the capital campaign:
Number 1. Some of you heard me give the eulogy at Stirling’s memorial recently. I explained that he was the brother I never had. And if it hadn’t been for Old First, I’d never have met him.
Old First has allowed me to meet, get to know, and work with many folks that have become a part of my life. Old First has extended an opportunity to me to serve and help others.
Number 2. Where else could I walk in the door after being out of organized religion for over twenty years and be greeted with open arms and a hug?
Number 3. My very first contact with Old First was at a bar at Gay Men’s Nite Out… not even within the walls here at Old First. The church showed up in my world, and I felt a part of the congregation. I hadn’t even set
foot in the church building at that point.
Number 4. Where could I go that I’m never judged on who I am, or what I stand for? I am allowed to pursue my Christian journey on my own terms with the support of so many others.
Number 5. This is the first time I’ve ever been happy at church. When I was a kid, I had parents who were very into church, and I was a part of their involvement.
I think, I had the longest chain of attendance awards ever at the First United Methodist Church in Stillwater, Oklahoma. But it just wasn’t meaningful to me. I never really complained or even talked much about it because I figured it was my issue, and I just needed to get it together, or get over it.
But as I got involved in and at Old First, I realized all those attendance awards and going to Sunday school and church didn’t do it. The church should… could mean more than this. Old First does mean much more to me. The bottom line is that I’m happy at Old First. It has allowed me to be fully a part of its community… and the process of being a community… and in support its mission.
It really makes no difference who we are or where we come from. It does, though, make a difference in what we do with what we have. Honestly, if I had $100,000 available today, I would gladly give it to our Capital Campaign. That is how important this local church is to me.
In reality, I cannot give the largest gift to the capital campaign. But I won’t be making the smallest gift either. I promise and assure you, my hand’s in: I am going to be pushing as hard as I can to support the campaign for Old First.
Because it’s easily one of the most important experiences we will know in our lifetimes. And we’re going to make it the best possible spiritual experience for as many people as possible. Together, we can can extend our welcome and strengthen our service
Please join me putting your hand in and supporting the Old First capital campaign.