Minister's Monthly Column

February 2020

 

A MESSAGE FROM REVEREND CAROLYN

My father was going through and cleaning out his desk recently and found some yellowing newspaper articles that featured fundraising projects I’d worked on as a teenager.  One was a photo of my co-student leaders and I handing over a big check to benefit cancer research.  Another photo featured a check that would benefit the school’s scholarship funds.  My partner, Kate, looked at these photos and said, “Geez, Carolyn.  You’ve been raising money your whole life!” 

She’s right though it had never dawned on me.  What I DO remember about those early and formative experiences is that it was exciting to raise money for cancer research and for scholarships.  I learned about generosity and as importantly, I learned that I enjoyed advocating for things that I believe in  - things like the power of community that we strive to create here at All Souls.

Faith communities – including All Souls – are sometimes accused of “always talking about money”.  On the contrary, I think we don’t talk about it enough.  But we’ve gotten better!  When I first arrived at All Souls I checked out the flyers for past campaigns for the annual budget.  I knew they were flyers for stewardship campaigns because they were in file folders labeled, “Annual Campaign,” otherwise you never would have known it.  There were lovely graphics inviting congregants to a fun dinner event or lunch or some other interesting something-to-do.  And then in the bottom corner, usually in very small print, it was noted that this event was actually the annual campaign’s kick-off celebration. 

We’ve come a long way since very small print.  We’ve had to because we had to be bold to take on not one but two multi-year capital campaigns in 13 years.  And for that you have to act and write in very large print

On February 9 we will kick off this year’s campaign.  Reverend Caitlin is preaching what preachers jokingly call, “The Sermon on the A-mount.”  Get it?  (I hear you groaning.)  I know that there are Souls who skip that Sunday because they don’t want to hear about money.  I know that because they (you) have told me so.  Honestly, I enjoy writing that sermon every year because stories about generosity are so deeply moving.  The ways that love is on full display when we talk about money and giving are among the most inspirational moments I’ve experienced in ministry.  Reverend Caitlin is going to lift those very truths up for all to see.  Don’t miss it. 

Through this annual campaign you are being asked to do all that you can to financially support All Souls’ mission to create a welcoming, caring, justice seeking community within and beyond our walls.  All these many years later, I feel excitement rising up in my heart to see what we we’re able to raise – and thus accomplish - together. 

Thank you for your financial support and confidence in the “strength of our communion,” 

Carolyn