I recently received a letter from a parishioner responding to our annual fund appeal and commending the church for how we have kept our faith community together during the pandemic. The letter is shared below with permission, but with the name removed.
It is so moving to read how people have felt connected to and comforted by the church during these challenging times. I believe having the church building closed has helped us all see more deeply that the church is first and foremost the people gathering in Jesus’ name however we can, caring for each other and the wider community. While the letter is addressed to me, our response to covid has certainly been a congregational effort.
To meet our annual fund goal, we need an average pledge of $3,200 per household, knowing that some can give much more and some cannot give this much. A vestry member once said that part of the role of the church is to increase our capacity for generosity — financial generosity but also generosity of spirit and understanding. The letter below is a beautiful example of how gratitude leads to generosity.
Thank you for rallying the church to respond so effectively to the COVID=19 pandemic. I have been buoyed so much by all your efforts and those of your staff and church volunteers, including our virtual church services, coffee hour, Men’s Group, and Dinner Church. While I have missed my personal interactions as an usher, I have been pleased that we are reaching way beyond our physical limitations by the sharing internationally of our virtual church services and our Men’s Group meetings. I am also impressed with our extraordinary local outreach accomplishments.
You have asked us to reflect on our experience during this past year while we are considering our financial commitment to the church for this coming year. The more I reflected and considered, the more my commitment increased. Recently, accepting your challenge of a goal of $3,200 per family seemed like the right thing to do. I, therefore, am increasing my pledge from $1,800 to $3,200, by 78%. Enclosed is my check in this amount.
Thank you again for your major and successful accomplishments this past year.