Living Epistle – Sandy Anagostakis
Money to the Church
Why would I give money to the church? We are all besieged these days with worthy causes that desperately need money to help feed the starving people in other countries, or to help those whose homes and livelihoods have been devastated by floods or earthquakes. Or, closer to home, we are asked for money to support local animal shelters or programs to keep teenagers from making bad life decisions, by candidates for office who think they can support our views, by theater groups trying to stay alive….. They are all good causes! I feel guilt and sorrow every time I get an appeal. I can’t help them all. I can’t help them because I choose to give my money to my church.
I have lived all over the United States in my 82 years, and never felt “at home” until I ended up in New England. For 50 years I found friends and useful work in Episcopal churches in Connecticut. I couldn’t give much money, but I could help with stewardship and Vestry and music and felt that I was contributing. In one of those churches I was about the youngest person in the congregation. The church changed drastically when a gay Bishop was elected, and when I couldn’t stand the conflict I moved to another church. That church was very supportive of all the community but was constantly in desperate need of money. A young, academic congregation couldn’t provide the funding to keep up with all of the needs of the church. Repeated cut-backs in staff and programs stressed everyone.
I have been here at Redeemer for about 5 years, since moving to Waltham, and here I have found a forever-home. I found a congregation well balanced in age and opinions, and with members who step up to do the jobs that need doing, and find the means of support necessary. This church is supporting ME as a member, by providing spiritual support, social support, and intellectual support as I grow older (never OLD) and alone. This pandemic has shown what Redeemer is capable of! Staff and clergy and volunteers figured out how to run a virtual church to still reach all of us stuck at home. I am not the only one whom Redeemer is supporting. There are many people on the rolls of “members” who never make it to a service, or people who get food from the food pantry, or knitted products from the knitting group, or have their children in day care in our building, or who simply sometimes click on the Facebook page of the live service on Sunday morning. We really have no idea how many people Redeemer is REALLY serving.
That is why I will give all the money that I can to the General Fund at Redeemer. I trust those making decisions about how the money is spent, and know that with this contribution I am also serving my community.
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