Reflection, by Ginny Johnson, Stewardship Chair
Posted by John Abbott
Posted on February 28, 2017
One of my standard – even rehearsed responses–was, “I’ll do anything, I’ll even clean toilets. Just don’t make me ask for money!” Now here I am as Stewardship chair – again- asking you for money. Something changed.
There is no question, training helped, but my turn around was much bigger than that. The change didn’t happen all at once. Rather it was a process over time and clearly being part of UUSS made a difference.
Frankly, it’s easier now than it used to be. When my kids were growing, I was a band mom and scout leader. I attended lots of soccer matches, piano recitals and bundles of choir and band concerts. There were years we paid a house payment to a college. And I’m glad I did all of those things.
As the kids were launched and as I retired, I had more freedom in how I spent my time and my money.
You know those words we say in our covenant–“We value justice, compassion, integrity and acceptance. We seek spiritual growth, learning together, caring and laughter.” Well, that’s me!
This UUSS Community is very important to me. It’s my second home. Now, my cot isn’t in a back room. I go home to sleep, really! But I spend a lot of my time and talents here.
Church is one of the few places that is intergenerational. I love to see the kids grow and learn. I have taught RE many years and I cry every time there’s a Coming of Age service or when we send the high schoolers off. These are “my” babies. Holy cow, I’ve been here long enough to know many of them their whole lives.
I learn though UUSS activities. As I teach RE, I learn as the kids learn. Sometimes sermons challenge me to think differently. I’ve participated in classes, and book groups. I learned how to mediate through UUSS – and I have to tell you that makes a huge difference in my life. I also learn as I take on different responsibilities for an activity or event.
The UUSS community is particularly important. I’ve received support during difficult time like when my mom died and when I was sick. I also get to give support, which may be even more important.
I can’t leave out that I laugh a lot, too. Somehow, I always get exactly what I need on a particular day.
A number of years ago, I decided I needed to “put my money where by mouth is,” I decided I was going to tithe-–that means give 10% of my income. At first I wanted split that between my church and my community. It didn’t happened overnight. In fact, it took a few years to change my spending habits and to learn how to decide what organization got my money.
In the last few years, my practice has expanded. I now give 10% of my income to church and additional funds to other organizations that I find worthy of my efforts.
Being generous also gives me joy. It’s the kinds of joy that make me feel warm and pleasant inside – all the way down to my toes.
You’re here, so apparently you find value in UUSS. I encourage you to figure out how you can use your money to say how important this loving community is to you.