Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dean's Stewardship Message for 2012


I want you to try something … right now. (Like in school, read the instructions first.)

Either standing or sitting, curl up your body as tightly as you can —hunch over, fists closed, arms to chest. Then slowly release. Uncurl. Arms extended. Fingers extended. Back straight. Head up.

Do it slowly. Do it again – a little faster. And again. And again. What do you notice? What does that feel like? What does it feel like at each extreme?

This is the motion of liberation. Of casting off. This is what we are about.

Jesus says “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:29-30) Following Jesus isn’t just taking on his yoke, but casting all else off.

So how do we do it? We give.

Giving is about freedom – our freedom. It’s about letting go of what we hold most dear and saying “Jesus, I love you more than these” (John 21:15-19). It is about letting go of lots of things whose hold on us burdens us. Letting go of time, grudges (for-giving), agendas and anxiety. But it is also most definitely about money. Because money is what our culture holds most dear. Too often, we make money the object of our greatest desire and let money be the source of our greatest fear.

Let it go. Give. And because we are human beings who need concrete markers of progress in things like liberation, this year we’re giving ourselves a road map.

Figure out what you gave last year as a percentage of your income. This year, we challenge each other to give at least 1% more of our income to Christ Church Cathedral.

For example, if you gave 5% of your income to the Cathedral this year, give at least 6% in 2012.

Let me be perfectly clear that my first passion is that you give more so that you can be more free … regardless of where you give it to. We do have a pledge target of $445,000 and that’s important because we all need to know what it takes to sustain this Cathedral in its current state, but meeting that is a distant second priority to this goal of our liberation from the fear and worry about having enough, and trust that with God there is always enough. We ask each other to give specifically to the Cathedral because we believe we can become a Cathedral that spreads that Gospel of liberation more deeply among ourselves and more broadly in the world.

Is 1% more a stretch? It’s meant to be. Call me. We can sit, talk and pray through it together. Because this is important. It’s important because Jesus wants us to be free. And we don’t just want to be freer someday, we want to be freer now.

In Christ’s love,

The Very Rev. Mike Kinman

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