Love Notes... A few words from our pastor

Last Sunday in worship, our gospel lesson highlighted the miracle Jesus performed when he fed a multitude with a few fish and some loaves of bread. There are any number of ways of understanding how this happened, one of which is that Jesus did something amazing that defies logic, and another is that something about Jesus’ way of being and his manner of speech inspired people to share food they had secretly tucked away in their robes.

As I contemplated this miracle story last week, I found myself reflecting on the human family. Some of us are naturally inclined to think in terms of abundance, while others of us frame things in terms of scarcity. I see this in my own family where, as a baby boomer, I naturally assume abundance while my mother, born during the Depression, is still inclined to believe that good resources are scarce.

Churches, too, have leanings in one direction or another. Ours is a church that naturally and consistently operates from a place of abundance: giving in support of our ambitious budget for 2023 is right on track (a rarity, especially during the summer months), and the list of ways we have initiated or participated in life-giving, gospel-witnessing efforts beyond our congregation now numbers well over 40 and is inching its way toward 50.

Contrast this orientation with a UCC church our size, whose savings account is now well over $13 million, thanks to a handful of prosperous members who remembered the church in their estate planning. When asked by a conference staff person what the church planned to do with their bounty, the moderator smiled and said, “Invest it wisely.”

My mentor used to speak of having “love to spend.” I adored that phrase when I first heard it, and even more, I love seeing how, quite naturally and organically, Community Spirit trusts that there is more than enough for us to do and be what we are called to do and be. Without snappy slogans or pithy reminders, we trust God’s generosity flowing through us; it’s is a beautiful thing to witness and a balm in an age that keeps trying to convince us there’s not enough (money, time, courage, talent, desire) to do the good that begs to be given.

We’re not a self-congratulating sort, but when it comes to operating from a place of abundance, I think high fives are in order—lots of them!

With you on the journey,