Posted by secondchurch on November - 15 - 2017

Thoughts from Pastor Mark

“Confidence doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s a result of something… hours and days and weeks and years of constant work and dedication.” — Roger Staubach
We invite the congregation to dedicate 2018 pledges on Sunday during worship. Because we are a heady bunch, it’s one of the few times in worship, outside of using our voices in prayer and song, passing the peace, or coming forward to receive Holy Communion, that we invite people to use their bodies as an act of worship. And what we are really doing when we invite folks forward to dedicate their pledge cards is to ask them to give an assent – agreeing to use their resources to support the mission and ministry of the church.

I like to think of my pledge as a way to put “skin in the game.” I can claim all I want that I want to follow the way of Jesus or that I am grateful for all that God has given me, but those are words and feelings which do little to change the world. I believe that my pledge compels the church to support my values and it compels me to practice the faith in substantive ways, particularly because I give a substantial portion of my income to the ministry of the church (a full ten percent), that help to make the world a better place.

We are going through some tough and blessed times in the church, maybe some of the toughest in recent history, both because of the changing landscape of ministry in the United States and because that’s where Second Church is in its life cycle. I want to thank those of you who have hung on and who continue to support the church. Your dedication is faithful, exemplary, and admirable. While others see the changing dynamics as too complicated, you have hung on and said, “It’s worth it. I am going to give myself to the renewal of the church. My faith and this church mean too much to stop now, just because the road has become a bit bumpy.”

I have a mantra for living: “Faithfulness always pays off.” I have found this to be true in so many ways – from the way I operate in my relationships to the way I practice my faith. I do believe that our giving to the ministries of Christ’s Church does pay back in dividends. I pray that you experience this as well. I also pray that it gives you joy to give, especially when you look around the sanctuary and see people you love and the meaning those relationships give you.

I look forward to being with you on Sunday as we dedicate our pledges and symbolize o commitment to the ongoing renewal of the church to the glory of God.

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