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*THIS ARTICLE WAS UPDATED, DECEMBER 2016
The pledge drive gods have smiled upon us! John Oliver's critique of televangelism, coercive predatory religious appeals for money, and promises of healing and blessing, couldn't come at a better time. It helps highlight precisely what we're NOT doing. We're not making an appeal to give seed money so God will grow your portfolio, cure you, heal you, or bless you - nor are we asking for you to fund the $65million dollar G6 that Collective clearly needs for our global crusade.
We ARE asking for this community to acknowledge how special it is, and to take responsibility for itself.
We're in week 4 of pledge drive. The letters have gone out. We have a goal and timeline: $13,000 per month, pledged and scheduled by December 31st. If we hit that goal, we're done.
Either way, December 31st, were done with the pledge drive. We only do this once a year for 6 weeks. At the end we'll either have a budget or we won't, and we may have to do some adjusting. But, we'll know where stand; Not only to plan accordingly, but to utilize your generous financial support strategically and responsibly. We never pass a plate. We make a monthly report about where we are, what we need, and then trust the congregation to be mature and responsible.
If you're one of those people who think you can't give enough to make a difference, think again. On the one hand, we have several pledged, automated donors who do $5-10 a month, and it matters. $60-120 over the course of the year adds up. Everything helps. Just a couple of these donations makes child care possible every week, just a few more makes Collective Kids Possible.
Some of us can and will give more, but the point is that we’re all taking ownership and responsibility.
On the other hand, what if it makes a difference IN YOU as much as it does FOR COLLECTIVE? There's this crazy, Ancient Near Eastern, itinerant faith healer, wisdom teacher, social prophet, messiah, who says - "where your treasure is, your heart will be also." Meaning, even thousands of years ago, people knew there were heart strings attached to our cash. So maybe even giving what little you're able, creates a sense of ownership and responsibility in and for this community. Whatever you're able to do, I encourage you to consider that.
There's no private jet or TV network, no magic handkerchief or snake oil charm in return for your financial support. It's not an invitation into some superstitious divine economy. It's where basic economics meet our sense of responsibility for forming our own lives, families, and communities. Hopefully we see the way Collective is contributing to this, and we realize that it requires resources, as does any organism, to continue and thrive. It is our congregation. It is a gift and responsibility to sustain it, and to give it every opportunity to flourish.
We'll be linking back to this segment from Last Week Tonight, and blogging about it over the course of the next 5 weeks. Stay tuned.
To help out with the pledge drive...
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.