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Knowledge & News
Thought provoking topics and series, necessary news and information.
If you missed the intro to the 15 | 16 Collective Annual Pledge Drive, check out the video and transcript below. Ben leads us into thinking through support, sustainability and responsibility. Stay tuned for more updates, fun connections, and special opportunities to make a bigger impact in the coming days.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing a multi-generational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.
How many of you resonate with the Community Statement? This has become a part of the life of this community, like breathing. We hear it every week. It’s gotten into our bones, shaped who we are, and it’s a lot of we, right?
"We value, We’re different, We’ve traveled, We agree, We challenge, We strive, We believe, We do everything in the spirit of love and grace."
There’s a part of this “We”; It’s actually not named in the statement, but it’s the part allows us, we together, to go on. That is each of our individual commitments to support Collective financially. And I want us to make this connection unmistakable. If we support and are committed to the journey, the diversity, the path, the questions; To a fresh approach to a Jesus who is for humanity rather than merely for Christianity, safety to doubt and critique, the freedom to rest in mystery and unknowing, to practice faith, not as an objective belief system, but a vibrant way of being in the world; If we support this, and nod our heads, and our hearts swell in agreement with this, and we’re committed to this life, and way of being; Part of that commitment is this very practical financial responsibility. If we want the “We” that is celebrated every week in the community statement, it makes us a part of the “we” who are responsible for sustaining it.
Tonight kicks off the Annual Pledge Drive, focused on pledging our budget. This enables us to resource and sustain the community described by and hoped for in this community statement.
More than anything else I want the message here to be gratitude. Three years ago, this wasn't. Collective didn't exist. If you're the folks who have pledged and given and supported the creation and development of this congregation, thank you! And if you've benefited from Collective and believe in our vision for church and faith, it's because of the financial support of these people. So let's be grateful for this generosity and maybe reflect on how we might join in supporting and pay this generosity forward. Even if you’re our guest tonight, no pressure at all to give, totally get it, just checking things out, but you can join us in gratitude that some others did so that we could be here, experiencing this life and faith together.
Church and money... what could be less awkward?
So I went to see my therapist this week, feeling a bit anxious.
And he’s like, “what’s up, what’s the anxiety about?”
"I don’t really know…"
30 seconds later I’m spilling my guts about my anxiety talking about money and asking for money. So we spent a great hour talking through my pathology and issues! What I discovered is this: I love you guys. I hate the idea of adding stresses and burdens to anyone.
But I believe in Collective, in this, in us.
Especially with the reputation religion has in general, and particularly regarding money and guilt, I want Collective to ease burdens not add them. I grew up in a family where money was tight and it was really hard. Stacy and I have had seasons where the money isn’t there, and it sucks, it’s really difficult, we fight, we lose sleep, end up having to make trade offs we wouldn’t otherwise make. Especially since having kids, when money has been tight and giving to Collective has seemed incredibly stupid, and doesn’t feel spiritually exhilarating or rewarding in that moment, It sucks. And I hate the idea of asking anyone else to put themselves in that position. See why I need therapy? But we made this commitment because we believe in this, and we’ve stuck with it. But over time it’s been a really great thing
Now maybe you’ve never thought about this, or you’ve only ever framed it in the traditional religious obligation model. No ones putting that pressure on you, there’s no religious guilt,
there’s no snake oil promise of blessing and prosperity. At the end of the day, we’re responsible for this congregation, and this responsibility is a gift. So we’re gonna focus on this and talk about it each week during the pledge drive. Different voices, stories, and ways of thinking about this support.
The Goal Is This:
We’re going to pledge our budget of $9,000 per month for the next year, by September 27th, which gives us six weeks from tonight. And we’re going to make as many as possible automated, recurring gifts.
SIMPLE RIGHT?! | 3 QUESTIONS
If we hit our goal, we’re done. If we don’t, at least we’ll know what our projected budget is and we’ll make some adjustments. But we need a budget to be responsible, and to remind ourselves that all good things in our lives require resources and sustenance.
This is just the intro, and I know I’m keeping things vague. We don’t wanna be here all night.
If you’re wondering about the $9000 monthly Budget, here’s a bit of a breakdown of where that goes and what that allows us to do
If you’re interested in the vision and future of Collective - plans, ambitions, next steps;
That will go out as a blog post soon. Bottom line, we have nothing to hide and everything to gain from you asking questions, so please do. Anything you’re unclear on, uncomfortable with, ask. We have an amazing finance team steering the ship and trust me they keep a weather eye on the cash horizon.
So, what to do: We have a new online giving platform, as some of you know already.
Thanks again. And we will be asking you to move existing automated gifts to the new platform. You can get there from the website giving page - CollectiveGives.Com. You will have to create a profile and login in order to participate in this pledge drive. Once logged in, you can do this in one of two ways
1) Best and fastest - scheduled giving tab - schedule an automated gift - credit, debit, ACH, eCheck. This will count as your pledge.
2) Scheduled gift is preferred, but if you can’t do that, go into the "my account" tab and add a pledge.
Some of you may be like, "Annual pledge drive? What is this NPR?"
Uh no. Way better! Once again, we’ve timed the release of the once a year, limited edition Clark Orr Design Co. designs with the pledge drive. If you pledge you’ll get a slick notebook and custom Collective pencil.
This stuff will also be for sale, so you can snag the goods even if you choose not to participate in the pledge drive. We will have a number of folks trained in the new giving platform in back each week to help get you set up right after the service with any troubleshooting needs. I know this took a minute, but this is so important, thanks for being gracious and generous. Get started by clicking below. Setup is easy and user friendly.
We are a misfit faith community that gathers in DeLand on Sundays at 5pm. Come as you are.
We value highly the metaphor of journey. We’re different people from different places and backgrounds, representing an intergenerational community, and we’ve traveled different paths. So, we agree not to make assumptions about the person across from us, next to us, or in conversation with us. We challenge ourselves to be sensitive, knowing this community includes a diverse group of people from life-long followers of Jesus, to people who are just now open to the idea that God might exist. We strive to avoid offense, ask good questions, articulate and explain our responses. We don’t assume fluency in bible, spirituality, or Church language, because we believe the message of Jesus is not for Christianity, but for humanity. So, we do everything in the spirit of love and grace.