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Maybe you’ve been with Collective from the beginning, so pledging support should be obvious. Maybe you’ve only watched online, come to a random event, or maybe you’re not connected to Collective at all. So why should you support it?
A gift to Collective is not a gift to Collective alone!
There's a difference between a church thats IN a town, and a church thats FOR a town, born FROM a town. Your gift to Collective is a gift back to the town, for and from which this congregation exists. DeLand is a gift to us, an we hope to be a gift to DeLand!
I am such a nerd about theology and philosophy that this began as a series of blog posts, the first of which was all the intricate theory of conditional vs. unconditional, gifts vs. economies, pure-gift vs. obligation, transaction and reciprocity… So let me say, you’re welcome. You dodged that bullet.
The bottom line is, pure gifts are given without why, without expectation, obligation, strings, or the creation of the vortex of reciprocity. Economies are the system of reciprocity, trade offs, costs and obligations, in which we live, and by which our world functions.
In his book, Hoping Against Hope, John Caputo (Nerd unconditional gift-theory extraordinaire), reaches the conclusion that “Gifts need economies, and economies need gifts.” We’re not choosing between the two, but rather finding ways to live between the two. We need both! We need the conditional container of transaction, but we also need the spontaneous and unconditional event of pure gifts.
HOUSE, ECONOMY, WORLD
Often economy gets a bad rap as the cold and unfeeling machine of commerce. But what if it’s actually the vehicle of the common good? The ancient understanding of the household of God is the image of the roof, under which all God’s people live (that means everyone). When this is translated into Greek, it becomes Oikos, which can be translated “household”, but in English is also translated as economy.
So when people think of the house of God - the whole world - they picture a household for the common good, in which all are family, and everyone’s needs are met; a household in which people go out to work for wages, to buy goods and services from other workers and service providers, to create a functional, thriving economy, so that everyone in the (human) family is cared for.
Apparently economy is an ancient sacred reality! Apparently working, getting up and going to do physical labor, or cook food, or teach school, or sell cars, or buy supplies, or trade securities - regardless of the color of your collar - is an ancient sacred profession. Economy and work are essential for God’s household to thrive, for the world to thrive, for the common good.
UNDER THE DELAND ROOF
Let’s bring this theological, global reality back to our community. We talk a lot about interconnectedness, and the experience of oneness, a rhythm of giving and receiving, of relational interdependence, and we see this reflected at the community level in the ancient sacred nature of economy.
The household only works if everyone under the roof has enough, has a voice, is cared for and enabled to thrive. Over the years, we’ve done our best to play a part in the many new and good things in our community, helping to get new businesses and events up and running, supporting local businesses, artists, other communities, and amazing causes. In one sense, this congregation is our product. In another sense, we don’t have a product to sell in the transactional economy, so we are dependent upon the gifts of others who believe in the value Collective adds to the household of our community, to the common good.
The point, again...
A gift to Collective is not a gift to Collective alone.
When you give to support Collective, you help to sustain and expand these social support initiatives, as well as local and global social justice work.
When you give to support Collective, you help to sustain and support these local businesses that allow our local economy to thrive, giving back to everyone!
When you give to support Collective, you help to sustain and support these local artists who are making their living by sharing their craft, adding meaning, texture, and value; cultivating the culture of our community.
Want to help us peldge our budget, which purs so much back into our town, our economy, our culture, the arts, and meeting the needs of our amazing town?
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.