It is oh so tempting to make this letter an outright request for the biggest pledge you can manage. Having endured the recent public radio funds drive, I might even remember a few things to say to entice your contributions. How about a St. Mark’s coffee mug? We all know St. Marks needs money to operate, that rectors need salaries, that the grounds need keeping and that the roof needs repair now and again. You have to admit that would be a pretty logical plea. If that works for you, well, then read no further, fill in your pledge form and be done with it. I do have some other ideas, however, that I would like to share.
In my 17 years at St. Marks, I have learned a lot about the place. For instance, those people standing in front with the vestments each Sunday are real humans. They have talents and faults, wisdom and worries. They like you. They want to get to know you better and without judgement. Our beautiful church is made of wood, bricks and stucco. It turns out that God’s house is made from the same things yours is. The plumbing is old and leaks. The Buildings and Grounds group is forever inspecting, repairing and replacing. The landscaping is inviting and functional though it takes the efforts of many to keep it looking nice. This is a community, and over the years I have come to understand that gifts to the church are gifts to all of us. Thank you.
We are all invited to the feast at St. Marks, but think of it as a potluck. The fellowship is so much better when everyone contributes. Maybe you will bring money; that would be put to good use. Maybe you will donate time; there are so many things to do and ways to participate. Maybe you have a special talent; those are all needed from knowing how to trim a rose to knowing how to balance the books. If there is a right answer to the question of how much to give, well I don’t know it. Whatever you decide, however, we all appreciate it, and we are glad you are with us.