Dear friends in Christ,
It is such a joy to begin traveling around the diocese for Sunday visitations. Connecting with parishes and missions in person allows me to feel the physical faces and spaces of our diocese. Some have expressed concern about the amount of driving I need to do to move around the diocese. My answer is always the same, “I enjoy driving. It’s a great time to think and reflect.”
This past Sunday, as I was driving to and from St. Thomas in Dallas, I found myself reflecting on the traffic sign that reads “Yield.” The sign is so common that I rarely notice it beyond doing what it says: I yield to the other cars. On this particular drive, I found myself wondering about a driver who did not yield to oncoming cars. By not yielding, the others cars had to brake, slow down and safely navigate around this driver. I wondered if the driver of that car had decided “Yield” did not apply to him – every other driver should yield so that he could do as he wished.
“Yield” has other meanings as well. We recognize it easily in many of the descriptions in the Gospel in which Jesus is teaching about the kingdom of God. The mustard seed. The leaven in the bread. The small offering of fish and bread. The widow’s mite. In these stories, a small or paltry amount yields tenfold or more. The reason for such an enormous yield is a faith that allows one to trust, love, and give from whatever one has.
The two meanings of yield – allowing space for another, and the results of faithful work – combine to give us a clear understanding of how to live as members of the Body of Christ. Our life together, as Christ’s beloved, calls us to set aside self-centered concerns in order to make space for others who seek to participate in this wonderful love; the new life generated from this simple act results in a wealth of relationships that we can scarcely comprehend.
In September, we have the opportunity to participate in Project Resource, a powerfully hopeful approach to stewardship and fundraising in our congregations and in the diocese. This opportunity is intended for teams from each congregation to participate together (via Zoom this time) in order to bring back to your congregations a renewed vision for financial health and well-being.
Please talk amongst your BACs and Vestries about this excellent opportunity and develop a team that will participate in these 5 sessions (Sundays in September and on October 3, 2:00-4:00 pm). I am confident that by yielding these two hours for five Sundays, we will yield much more than we can imagine.
“Giving of oneself financially unlocks a part of our hearts where God can do incredible work, both in us and through us. As part of our baptismal covenant, we believe we are called to reconcile ourselves to one another and to God. Fundraising is not a means to an end. Rather, fundraising as ministry is a radical act of reconciliation; a process that can both draw the giver closer to God and repair an unjust world.” * — Project Resource website
Below are the links to register and learn more about Project Resource. Please note: There is a fee of $50 per congregation due upon registration. When registering please select that you are with the Diocese of Oregon.
Register here for Project Resource