November 4, 2014
Thanks to all who have contributed to making Plymouth Church UCC what it is today. Whether it is by singing, paying ministers’ and staff salaries, growing the kids, developing wonderful programs or in so many other ways, thanks; I mean it. I am fully aware that I benefit from work done by others, work paid for by others, sacrifices and generosity made by others. It’s a good deal and makes me realize I need to pay it forward since I can’t really pay it back.
As I write about stewardship, I know that in some ways I don’t really like to give money away…honestly. I don’t like raffles, gambling, phone solicitors asking for donations or giving to panhandlers; I don’t even like tipping when I pay for $2 drip coffee.
Giving to my church, however, and giving back to God through other organizations that are special to me (The Nature Conservancy of Washington, coaching youth soccer), has always been in a different category of giving; and the amount of money I’ve pledged or the amount of time I’ve volunteered has always varied depending on life’s circumstances. I like that Plymouth acknowledges those who give of their time and talents as well as their money. With Plymouth, I can give some of each; I think that's important. I view Plymouth as a great investment. Why? Because I feel that I receive a huge return — ten-fold.
My church, Plymouth these days, is like one of life's flotation devices. In life's journey, I've come across a (small to tremendous) hurdle or two that are at times difficult to maneuver past. Sometimes these hurdles result in lots of lost sleep, lots of worries, lots of, "Oh my God, what am I going to do now?" moments. Usually, it's my closest friends, friends from church, members I've come to know well and lessons from the many sermons or stories others have shared that helped me through those hurdles. That’s why I want to support Plymouth, and not just so that it's there for me; I would like it to be there for others as they maneuver through life's hurdles. —Charlie Torres