We are a generous people. I know this from the people who are in our congregation, people who inspire me.
There is the man who believes that giving time to weed and craft each corner into an outdoor shrine is a spiritual act. He spends hours at our congregation so that someone will walk through our doors and be inspired, touched, perhaps even healed by our natural environment.
There is the woman who gives generously of her resources. After taxes, bills, food, and life essentials are paid for, she shares with us each month over half of what is left. It is $20, and I am humbled by this act, placed in the basket each month. This money helps us continue to care for each other and our community, to truly make the world we live in a better place for our children.
There is the person who works all week, sometimes with 12-hour days, in finance. They come in after this work week to help us with financials, to give us skills that we likely couldn’t afford; they ensure the checks are cut to the charities, the staff, and the power company to keep the church lit.
There are many more I couldn’t name. Some greet before each church service, being the face of welcome to everyone who comes through our doors. Some sit on teams or committees and search for the right words to tell the world who we are. Some clean-up the kitchen and make coffee. Some come into the office and make copies, send emails, and welcome visitors.
We are a generous people.
This month with the theme of service, we will celebrate the generosity within our community as well as the gifts many of us offer outside of our community. It is said that many progressive people actually tithe, the old practice of giving 10% of one’s income to the church. We tithe by giving both to our congregation and the rest out in the world! Charitable organizations, non-profits, and advocacy groups are the recipients of countless Unitarian Universalist supporters.
We are often quiet in our generosity, private about our giving. Nonetheless, we are a generous people who believe in the act of service.
So why do we believe in generosity? Why do we hold up service as one of the basic elements of our faith?
It’s true that some of us were raised with the values of generosity and service, but many of us were also raised in the consumer culture of more and more. Yet we’ve made bold, different decisions. Why?
Come join us in exploring the deep roots of service in Unitarian Universalism, something that is even crafted into our symbol the chalice. We’ll consider how to sustain service for our children and their children, and celebrate service in our very midst!
With gratitude for the journey and companions on the path,