21 October, Hayden Schmidt
Hello everyone. For those who don’t me, my name is Hayden Schmidt. I’ve been attending All Saints Parish for a little over a year now. Last week, I was asked to share some brief thoughts on pledging, which is a bit ironic since I’ve never actually pledged any money to All Saints. In fact, I think it took me until about last November to even realize that pledging meant that you were promising to donate a certain amount of money to the church.
Despite this, I have felt fully welcomed into the All Saints community. One of the best traits of this church, at least to someone fairly new like me, is its openness. Unlike churches I’ve been to in the past, no aspect of participation here has been contingent on me donating money to the parish.
In addition to be open to people, the church is also very open about its finances. There is an annual meeting, or at least there was a meeting last year I understood to be annual, where this church shows all of its gains and expenditures, and we are all welcome to come see how much money our church is receiving, where the money comes from, and how the church is spending it.
My point in mentioning all of this is that this push for pledging isn’t just a racket. I think it can be very easy, especially if one is new to All Saints, to come here and hear all these requests for pledging and become very cynical. You see people come up to this podium, making appeals for funds, and you feel like maybe they are trying to guilt you out of your money. The church isn’t trying to squeeze you, and if you never pledge a cent you’ll still be welcome here.
But what we have here at All Saints is a very special spiritual community, a place where we can learn and grow and find shelter from the world. However, this community can’t continue to exist in its current form if we don’t pitch in and maintain it. So, I would just like to encourage everyone to think and pray about this, and if you have the means, please pledge at least a little bit to help keep our church what it is. And if you’re like me and too afraid to promise anything, because of uncertainty in your living situation or finances, maybe start small, knowing that a pledge helps the church plan ahead; just try to give what you can. This place we share is certainly worth the investment.