In the life of a congregation, the announcement about Pledge Sunday is usually met with lukewarm excitement. This depends on the congregation, but Pledge Sunday usually carries with it particular expectations, whether they are accurate or not. It can feel like duty or obligation. We might anticipate a day marked by shoulds and shalls, as in you should or shall give to the church.
Over the years, I have witnessed a different aspect of Pledge Sunday, which comes from an accumulation of the entire year. As we witness members of the church, caring for the grieving with empathy and compassion, encouraging our children with kindness and dedication, or volunteering each week at the Community Market and serving the needs of others, we see the meaning of Pledge Sunday.
When we share our lives with one another, we lean into the meaning of community and stewardship! We experience the joy of walking together and sharing the journey. For the journey to become meaningful, we bear responsibility with one another, and for one another. This is the gift of Pledge Sunday!
On Pledge Sunday, we celebrate our gratitude for the journey. We renew our commitment to care for one another, to support our young people, and to serve the needs of others. We join hands as a family of faith for the challenge and opportunity to walk through life together and to live out our calling as the body of Christ.
For all the many ways in which this congregation has lived out its calling and shared the journey of faith, we give thanks! We are thankful for our opportunity to walk with each other, for what we can do together and for what we have received from one another.
Hopefully, we look forward to Pledge Sunday on October 9, giving thanks for the gift of this community of faith!