Held in Common
Commitment (Pledging Season) Begins Sunday
It is that time of year again. Hurricane Season and Commitment Season. First Hurricane Season. The impact of Hurricane Florence is still unfolding – some rivers are just now cresting as many homes and families regain power. In Wilmington the University of North Carolina Wilmington is still assessing the damage as residents return home and businesses reopen. Florence was a monster storm that will require a monster response, and just as West Raleigh swung into high-preparedness mode last week, the Mission, Peace & Justice Committee has swung into response mode this week with their usual, thoughtful energy. There will be a separate email later today or early tomorrow with opportunities to donate all that water you stock-piled last weekend, as well as other clean-up supplies, money and, a little further down the road, time. This kind of giving is agile and quick as we respond to unexpected need in our community and in the world. West Raleigh does this well, and we will continue to do this faithfully because that is what we do as the Body of Christ.
At the same time, there is another kind of giving. It is steady and even, given out of discipline, even when the need is not right in front of us. As people of faith, we commit to regular, weekly or monthly giving. We do this for a variety of reasons – we give out of gratitude; we give because the discipline of giving is built into our faith; we give because we are one part of a larger community. This is the kind of giving that we honor and celebrate during Commitment (Pledging) Season. West Raleigh’s theme for Commitment Season this year is Held in Common. It comes from the story in Acts 4:32-37, where Luke describes the early church as being of one heart and soul, so thoroughly committed that they sold everything they had and held everything in common. It is hard to imagine this level of commitment, and let me say up-front, that we are not calling for a literal replication of this moment in the life of the church! Instead, we hope that this theme will guide us and ground us in the disciple of committed – weekly and monthly giving. In worship and through weekly electronic devotions we will explore how holding our gifts of money, time and talent in common bring life to the community, reminding us that we, too, are held by the God who breathed life into the world, into the earth church and into us.
See you in church,