Why I Pledge?
Being a member of the clergy, and the Priest In-Charge (PPIC) at Saint John’s Church, it is a natural expectation that I would pledge, and that I pledge with intentionality. But is this the reason why I pledge? The mission statement for Saint John’s Church reads as follows: “To Live the Love of God with hearts open to all, strengthened by joyful worship, inspired by the Holy Spirit and dedicated to serving Christ in the world.” Serving Christ in the world is the mission of our parish, and contributing to its resources is a vital part of this mission. Do I believe in this mission? Am I committed to it? When we seek to honor our baptismal covenant with the Eternal and Transcendent, we have no choice but to support the mission of God’s work, and we do this for the sake of a humanity transformed into the image and likeness of God in our midst. In the process, we do this for the sake of our own transformation as servants of God, while discovering our truest self and identity. One thing becomes clearer to me the older I get: I possess nothing, not even the body my soul embodies; I possess absolutely nothing. All that I enjoy in life is a gift!
When we tithe, or make the honest attempt to tithe, we’re simply giving back what already belongs to God, in the confident expectation that we will lack nothing. Saint John’s Church is a charitable church, with significant outreach to the surrounding community, we are a parish very much in tune with the lives of many beyond our parish walls, we are generous, and this generosity comes from loving hearts who trust in the Lord. On a personal note, I pledge because I am compelled by the Spirit of God to support the work of God’s Kingdom, as it unfolds in our midst, and I pledge from a place of gratitude for all the gifts that come in my direction.
I hope and pray that you will join me in pledging as we enter 2020, in what I suspect for many, is the most turbulent, divisive, and challenging time we have ever faced. Our work as a parish is more needed than ever. Please join me in making real our mission as a parish family, and prayerfully consider your heart centered pledge for 2020. The Journey ahead is full of twists and turns, all leading to God’s wonderful awesome grace, and Kingdom. We journey by faith!
Blessings and Grace,
The Rev. Wilfredo Benitez,
Priest In-Charge (PPIC)