This Week at First Church
Creating the Kingdom: Multiply
Much has been made of the fact that this election cycle was one of the most expensive in history, at nearly $6 billion. Cynics are saying we didn’t get much for that money—that things (and people) stand about nearly where they did in Congress and the White House today as they did on Monday.
I disagree. It cost a lot of clams—not all of them well-spent, in my opinion—but there are some real differences. Three more states have embraced equal marriage. We have our first woman senator from Massachusetts. We have the first out lesbian senator, nationwide. The nation’s first African American president was returned to a second term in office. That’s pretty different than life on Monday! There is a major demographic seismic shift on the way in American politics. It’s looking a lot more like Heaven out there, if Heaven is a place where all kinds of people are represented.
On Sunday, we passed out pledge cards. Our church runs on about $300,000 a year—that pays for 11 staff (not one of us full-time!), our insurance and utilities, all of our programming (which is a relative bargain, let me tell you). We pay for all of this ourselves—a small amount of money comes from renting the church, and the vast majority comes from you, people who love your church and own it.
This year’s Stewardship theme is Creating the Kingdom of Heaven. What does Heaven look like to you? Who is there, and what are they doing? What are you willing to give up, and give, so you can live in that Heaven, here and now?
We are creating, little by little, a bit of the Kingdom at the corner of College and Francesca, and everywhere we go when we leave God’s house each week we take it with us. A week from Sunday, we will invite you to bring your pledge cards back to be blessed at the close of Stewardship season. What kind of stake will you have in creating the Kingdom?
Meanwhile, this Sunday, I’ll be preaching on the Gospel story known as the widow’s mite. But the story’s not just about her and her money. It’s about the fat cats who give a little (comparably speaking) and boast a lot. It’s about pride and arrogance and risk and foolishness. Cathy Campaigne is our able liturgist. Bobby will lead our prayers for the first time! Rev. Jeff will offer up a children’s time. The Beloved String Band will soothe our election-sick souls!
After worship, there are multiple opportunities to come to the feast. Stewardship confidantes will answer any questions you have about the What and the How of pledging to First Church. The Welcome Project
will meet with the Mission & Justice Committee (an open committee - please join us!) to share stories of their work with immigrants in our neighborhoods. Rooftop People
gather to support one another’s healing work. We’ll have good food, hot coffee and soul friends to nourish our whole selves.
Bless you, and may you be a blessing,
Discerning Your Pledge...
Dear Beloved Community:
I hope this message finds all well with each of you. These past few days have been very exciting, haven't they?
Recently we received stewardship letters in the mail from Molly and some members of our Community. The letter introduces something new to First Church: “stewardship confidantes.” We are holy friends here to help you think about how to make a decision about a pledge number.
The confidence-keeping, thoughtful, nonjudgmental people and their emails are:
Rev Molly: email@example.com
Rev Jeff: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Donnelly: email@example.com
Melissa St John: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian Tosh: email@example.com
Gianna Marzilli Erickson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Banks: email@example.com
We are all available for one-on-one conversations. And we will also be available as part of a more public forum on “how do I know what to give?” this Sunday, the 11th
, after worship in the chapel.
If you have any questions or want to talk further, please do not hesitate to contact anyone of us. We are here to walk this journey together.
LATIN FOODS & LOCAL BREWS - Saturday, November 17, 6:30 -10:30! The Casa Connection Inc., which supports the Casa San Jose Orphanage in Colima, Mexico, is holding their 2nd Annual Fundraiser at the Somerville Armory featuring tastings of local Latino restaurants and local craft beers. Pete Shungu's band, Afro D All Starz, will perform and there will be a silent and live auction of cool items. A limited number of tickets will be available, so purchase your tickets soon at the Casa Connection Coffee Cabinet during coffee hour, or directly at www.casaconnection.org . Tickets are $40 and include all food and beer tastings. First Church families will be able to have a parents' night out with free childcare available at the church!