Share the love.
On Pentecost 2022, First Church gave a reverse offering of $4,500. Those in attendance were told, "Your only instruction is to do good with this money, come back, and tell the story. With this money, you can do whatever you want, as long as you deem it to be good."
“Love is Something if You Give it Away…
You end up having more.”
The culture of American consumerism convinces us we never have enough. No wonder we are depressed and anxious and tight-fisted. One of the best invitations for transformation that the Church gives us is the invitation to spend our money differently than we do now. God reminds us that we are blessed with enough abundance and grace to share extravagantly and wastefully. Imagine what our lives would look like if we acted as though that were true: we would be happier, more fulfilled and far more willing to share.
The diaconate gives away money each month from our deacon’s fund to help people with basic needs like food, housing and medical care, made possible by your generous monthly donations. It feels good to be able to offer people that simple, sometimes life-saving kindness with no strings attached. The congregation entrusts us with the responsibility of spending this money for good on behalf of all of us.
On June 5, 2022, the deacons gave that trust back to the congregation. Instead of asking for money before the offering, the deacons had the ushers pass the collection plate filled with envelopes of cash instead, totalling $4,500. Everyone took one envelope, and each envelope had different denominations of bills, and different amounts of money.
The only “rules” were to “use it for good,” and to “come back and tell the story.”
We have given 150 people an opportunity to feel their own generosity in new ways; to grapple with what it means to “do good”; to cooperate with one another to have a higher impact; to transform the rest of us with their stories We hope we learn something about ourselves, our church, our capacity for good, and our capacity for generosity. We hope this experience of practicing abundance will change our lives.
We imagine some people will pool their money, or match it in a gift to an organization, or give it to a single person in need. But everyone will have to think about how they use it, and what “using it for good” means. Telling the story is almost more important than the act of giving itself.
Please, tell your story of giving here. May we become a church that shares its abundance generously with the world.