What an Amazing, Beautiful Gift

What an Amazing, Beautiful Gift

Our stewardship canvass (pledge drive) will begin later this month.  We will be featuring acts of generosity, and statements by our members regarding why they ‘do church’ with us.  Here is the first one, from Meredith Norman, who is the Communications Team Lead, co-editor of the monthly newsletter you are reading, and also a member of the Ministerial Search Committee.

— Rev. Leland


The Gift of Generosity, by Meredith Norman

The first year I was a member of our church, we took a service trip to The Mountain. Unemployed at the time, I wasn’t sure if I could afford the cost of room and board associated with the trip. Before voicing this worry to anyone, I was told that an anonymous donor offered to cover my room and board so that I could attend.  This generous person gave me two gifts. The first gift was, of course, the ability to go on the trip. The second gift, and possibly the more valuable gift, was an opportunity to accept another’s generosity with grace.  My modus operandi is to say “I’m fine”, or “I don’t need help”, or my favorite “How can I help YOU?” For the first time in my adult life, I felt safe enough in a community to accept help from someone outside of my immediately family.  What an amazing, beautiful gift.

I continue to receive gifts every time I walk in the doors of our church. A hug from a church member is a gift. My chalice circle holding a joy or pain I bring with me is a gift. The opportunity to be of service on a team or committee is a gift.

Having been given to so generously, I’m eager to find opportunities to give back. I do this by giving my time, talent, and treasure freely. I make a pledge in line with UUA’s fair share giving guide and I keep my pledge up to date.  I stay informed about the happenings in the church including our financial health. I do this because I care so deeply about our beloved community. I do this because I am inspired by the gifts I have been given and by the generosity of the members in our church. With canvass time just around the corner I will be reflecting on the gifts I receive from our church and the gifts I give to our church.  I hope you will do the same.